The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin
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ISBN 9780571240074 Format Paperback
Published 04/09/2014 Length 768 pages

About Book

This entirely new edition brings together all of Philip Larkin's poems. In addition to those in Collected Poems (1988), and in the Early Poems and Juvenilia (2005), some unpublished pieces from Larkin's typescripts and workbooks are included, as well as verse (by turns scurrilous, satirical, affectionate, and sentimental) tucked away in his letters. The manuscript and printed sources have been scrutinized afresh; more detailed accounts than hitherto available of the sources of the text and of dates of composition are provided; and previous accounts of composition dates have been corrected. Variant wordings from Larkin's typescripts and the early printings are recorded.

For the first time, the poems are given a comprehensive commentary. This draws critically upon, and substantially extends, the accumulated scholarship on Larkin, and covers closely relevant historical contexts, persons and places, allusions and echoes, and linguistic usage. Due prominence is given to the poet's comments on his poems, which often outline the circumstances that gave rise to a poem, or state what he was trying to achieve. Larkin played down his literariness, but his poetry enrichingly alludes to and echoes the writings of many others; Archie Burnett's commentary establishes him as a more complex and more literary poet than many readers have suspected.

  • About Philip Larkin

    Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922 and was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry, and St John's College, Oxford. As well as his volumes of poems, which include The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, he wrote two novels, Jill and A Girl in Winter, and two books of collected journalism: All What Jazz: A Record Diary, and Required Writing: Miscellaneous Prose. He worked as a librarian at the University of Hull from 1955 until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation, and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and the WHSmith Award.

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