- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition (April 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374529205
- ISBN-13: 978-0374529208
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Collected Poems 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Thwaite has gathered all the poems Larkin wrote between 1946 and 1985, the year of his death; he also includes a generous selection of work written earlier, before Larkin found his characteristic voice. In all, there are some 240 poems, 83 of them never published before. The unpublished work comes from every period of Larkin's career and increases by half the number of poems in his canon. The poet we now have is considerably more prolific than the one who issued only three small, mature collections in his lifetime. With or without the new poems, Larkin is a major postwar British writer, and this is the best available collection of his poetry. An essential addition to both academic and general libraries.
- Michael Hennessy, Southwest Texas State Univ., San Marcos
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“More often than any other English poet since the war, Larkin gave us lines that it is unlikely we'll be able to forget.” ―Ian Hamilton, The Times (London)
“Larkin is resolute, forthright, witty, and gloomy. This is the man who famously said that deprivation was for him what daffodils were for Wordsworth. Yet surely the results of this life, in the shape of his poems, are gifts, not deprivations.” ―Donald Hall, The New Criterion
Top customer reviews
His poetry may however not be to everyone's taste: there is no place for lace and flowers in Larkin. His work is more often than not dark and reflects the feelings of a man who probably felt everything was wasting away about him: not only his own life, but the world as a whole. Through his poems we discover a man who seems to have skipped childhood and adolescence and who finds himself at fifty having had life pass him by. Larkin's poetry expresses his sourness, his fears, his repressed anger, his spite, his general disgust with society and the modern world. And it does this in the most expressive of ways, never shying away from the words that seem necessary, however crude they might be. There is much beauty in his despair.
If you are sensitive to poetry, then you cannot avoid reading Larkin. Be warned however that you should not read Larkin to brighten up your life: the "happy poems" are few and far between. But read him nonetheless and decide afterwards whether his work is to your liking. He may just hit the spot on one of those lonely evenings when you feel yourself that everything just isn't as it should be. And after that, you will never be able to separate yourself from a copy of Philip Larkin's Collected Poems...
But, his modernity is indisputable, combining, and perhaps exceeding, the humanity of Auden as well as the perspicacity of Eliot.
His is clearly a concise body of work, but it is large in its range and insight. Larkin's poems often express an thought or feeling that the reader will recognize as a part of his own experience, finally put into words with the utmost clarity. He played his "tennis" with the net, but remained distinctly modern.