Philip Larkin - Life Stories, Books, and Links
Biographical Information

Stories about Philip Larkin

Selected works by this author

Selected books about / related to this author

Recommended links
Picture of English poet Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin   (1922 - 1985)
Category:  English Literature
Born: 1922
Coventry, England
Died: 1985
Hull, England
Related authors:
Martin Amis, W. H. Auden
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Philip Larkin - LIFE STORIES
8/9/1922     Larkin as Monument and Sewer
On this day in 1922 Philip Larkin was born. Larkin's mordant tone and accessible verse became so popular in mid-twentieth-century Britain that he was offered the Poet Laureateship-a position which he characteristically declined. Over the next decade, after his Collected Poems, his Selected Letters and a biography by Andrew Motion (then himself Poet Laureate) appeared, some found "the sewer under the national monument Larkin became."
12/20/1929     Lady Chatterley, Philip Larkin
On this day in 1929 D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned in the United States. This was only one of a series of censures from the book's first publication the year before until the landmark obscenity trials in 1959 (U.S.) and 1960 (Britain), but for Lawrence personally it may have been the most devastating. For Philip Larkin, on the other hand, life began "Between the end of the Chatterley ban / And the Beatles' first LP. . . ."
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A Girl in Winter
Collected Poems
by Philip Larkin, Anthony Thwaite (Editor)
anthology, poetry
High Windows
Larkin's Jazz: Essays and Reviews, 1940-84
by Philip Larkin, Richard Palmer (Editor), John White (Editor)
reviews, essays
Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces, 1955-1982
essays, literary criticism
Selected Letters of Philip Larkin 1940-1985
by Philip Larkin, Anthony Thwaite (Editor)
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Further Requirements
by Phillip Larkin, Anthony Thwaite (Editor)
interviews, reviews, essays
New Larkins for Old: Critical Essays
by James Booth (Editor)
analysis and criticism
Philip Larkin
by Stephen Regan (Editor)
guide, essays
Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life
by Andrew Motion
The Letters of Kingsley Amis
by Kingsley Amis, Zachary Leader (Editor)
The Modern Academic Library: Essays in Memory of Philip Larkin
by Brian Dyson (Editor)
essays, criticism
The Philip Larkin I Knew
by Maeve Brennan
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Academy of American Poets
Offers a short biography and links.

"With his second volume of poetry, The Less Deceived (1955), Larkin became the preeminent poet of his generation, and a leading voice of what came to be called 'The Movement,' a group of young English writers who rejected the prevailing fashion for neo-Romantic writing in the style of Yeats and Dylan Thomas. Like Hardy, Larkin focused on intense personal emotion but strictly avoided sentimentality or self-pity."
Desperado Literature
A lengthy biography offers commentary on the poet's life and works, with comparisons to poets and novelists including William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, and W. H. Auden.

"A poet who wrote little, and published even less, Philip Larkin has nevertheless become a major voice in later 20th century British poetry. He best illustrates the transition from strong-willed experimenting (Eliot) to relaxed carelessness in poetry. He witnesses the slow withdrawal of lyricism from fiction and its reverse, the immersion of poetry into prose, or, rather, the creation of the desperado poetic attitude: the disobeying of poetry. Like modern clothes, which can use any colour or cut as long as they are able to shock, Larkin felt free to look for his words everywhere. The hidden striving of his creation is to find a road of access to his innermost, real theme –- the mood of the lonely, ageing man."
Essay: Without Metaphysics: The Poetry of Philip Larkin
Find analysis and commentary on poems including:

  • "Absences"

  • "Ambulances"

  • "Aubade"

  • "Church Going"

  • "Faith Healing"

  • "MCMXIV"

  • "Send no Money"

  • "Solar"

  • "The Trees"
  • The Philip Larkin Society
    Find information about the organization, and a biography, bibliography, links, and selected essays, poetry, and reviews from a bi-annual journal, About Larkin. From "Philip Larkin and me, or you: the democratic appeal o fhis poetry":

    "Amis said he knew where most of Philip's poems had come from, but there were some that baffled him. He went on to list a number, such as 'Wedding Wind' and 'The Explosion'. They showed the tender and transcendental side that Philip would not risk revealing to Amis. He could not have left himself vulnerable to a friend with whom he did not have that kind of contact. You need to look at the letters to Jim Sutton and some of his women friends to find that side. Conversely, people to whom he showed his playful, romantic side were often shocked by the anger and savagery expressed in poems such as 'Sunny Prestatyn' and 'The Old Fools'. They are all effusions of a rich, some might say divided, personality whose dramatic juxtapositions reveal a humanity that appeals across different countries, languages and social classes."
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    March 17, 2018
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