Philip Larkin

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Philip Larkin

A major modern poet,[1] Philip Larkin was born 9 August 1922 in Coventry, England. His poems are notable for their highly structured but flexible verse forms[2] and their combination of simple direct language with acute social and spiritual observation. In 1943, he graduated with a First Class Honours in English from St. John’s College, Oxford. He trained as a librarian and spent most of his working life at the University of Hull, having taken the position of Librarian there in 1955. Larkin died of cancer, aged 63, on 2 December 1985.[3]

He published five short volumes of verse in his lifetime, but considered the totality of his mature work[4] to be contained in The Less Deceived (1955), The Whitsun Weddings (1964) and High Windows (1974). He wrote little in the decade prior to his death[5] and frustration at this loss of inspiration may have contributed to the increasingly reactionary tone of his posthumously published letters.[6]

His most famous poems include:

Selected other poems: