- Hardcover: 768 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (March 27, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374126968
- ISBN-13: 978-0374126964
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Complete Poems Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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“[The Complete Poems] is a must-have for anyone who enjoys Larkin . . . Burnett’s notes offer a fascinating, compendious vade mecum into Larkin’s poetic world. Full of reassuring exactitude about variants, and extensive reference to the poet’s own comments on the work, they are most stimulating of all when they cite buried sources . . . A lot of thought as well as an enormous amount of research has clearly gone into this [volume].” ―Fiona Sampson, The Independent
“[Archie] Burnett presents a very different picture of Larkin from the one by which he came to be known; one that is far more literary, and occasionally far more amusing. A reader can now trace Larkin's development from his allusive [early efforts] . . . to his more mature, better-known works.” ―The Economist
“Apart from representing an unprecedented Larkin poetic storehouse, the other glory of The Complete Poems is Burnett's dazzlingly detailed commentary . . . One of the chief pleasures . . . is tracing the emergence of one of English poetry's most distinctive poetic voices . . . A landmark volume, a wonder-book of verse by one of the art form's best practitioners of the last hundred years.” ―Terry Kelly, The London Magazine
“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) on Philip Larkin
“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 on Philip Larkin
About the Author
Philip Larkin (1922-1985) grew up in Coventry, England. He was the best-loved poet of his generation and the recipient of innumerable honors, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
Archie Burnett is co-director of the Editorial Institute and professor of English at Boston University. He has edited the Oxford editions of The Poems of A. E. Housman and The Letters of A. E. Housman.
Top customer reviews
I've been told that Larkin's style and topical interest varies a bit in quality from work to work; but the poems in this collection are simply stellar and revelatory. I can't think of another poet I've read recently who demonstrates such incredibly precise control and sumptuous taste in his word nuances. Perhaps Galway Kinnell maybe. But there ae asterisks and exclamation marks and "wows" written all over the margins of this book.
By way of example (and keep in mind, these are just isolated lines): Larkin renames a baby, "tightly folded bud," Spring is "fold of untaught flower, is race of water,/Is earth's most multiple, excited daughter," the past is "a valley cropped by fat neglected chances/that we insensately forbore to fleece," and skin as "Obedient daily dress."
Needless to say, these lines begin, form the body of, and end exquisite poems.
I can't wait to continue exploring more Larkin. There is a surprise at every linguistic turn.