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Collected Poems

Philip Larkin

The first edition of Larkin’s Collected Poems, which shows the chronological development of this best-loved poet.

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Since its publication in 1988, Philip Larkin’s Collected Poems, edited by Anthony Thwaite, has become essential reading on any poetry bookshelf. As Blake Morrison wrote in the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry (2013), it was ‘the first attempt to bring together his published and unpublished poetry, and remains the most attractive and accessible volume in print’. Differing to the later 2003 Collected Poems which followed the order of Larkin’s successive published collections, the poems here are arranged by chronological order of completion. The result is a fascinating and extraordinary insight into the development of this best-loved poet.

‘Philip Larkin was uniquely cherished, and not just in England, largely because of his gift for winning the respect of two kinds of readers: those scrupulously concerned about literary standards and those other nonspecialist listeners-in to what is generally available. This means that his Collected Poems is already a classic, with a guaranteed life on the market and in the memory.’ Seamus Heaney

‘With this magnificent Collected Poems before us, we can recognise that right from the start his approach to writing poetry was that of a virtuoso.’ Peter Porter


Philip Larkin was an English novelist, librarian and celebrated poet, who has been awarded numerous honours including the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Born in Coventry in 1922, he was educated at King Henry VIII School and Oxford University. His first book of poetry, The North Ship, was published in 1945, followed by The Less Deceived (1955), The Whitsun Weddings…

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