I love Philip Larkin. My favourite poems are Days, Nothing to be Said and Water. They appeal to me primarily because of how they de-familiarise the ordinary and challenge assumptions about accepted social constructs. Which Larkin poems do you like, and why?
An Arundel Tomb and Ambulances stick in my mind. But I remember liking most of what I read by him.
I liked An Arundel Tomb a lot until it was slowly butchered by my english teacher over the course of what seemed like months... *sigh*
Ones that have stuck with me are Nothing to be Said, An Arundel Tomb(it's the obvious one), A Study of Reading Habits and Maiden Name. Honorable mention goes to As Bad as a Mile for how wonderfully crafted it is.
Larkin is wonderful. Despite being a righty hermit. A Writer is one of my favourites. As is This Be The Verse. However, one of my favourite poems EVER is Love, We Must Part Now. It's heartbreaking.
'Sad Steps' and 'If, My Darling' instantly spring to mind - quite a bit of 'High Windows' in fact, but I've enjoyed all of what little Larkin I've read.
I've only read the collection 'High Windows', but a poem which has stuck in my mind is 'The Building'. It's such a pessimistic and clinical commentary on sickness and mortality that everytime i'm near a hospital I usually think of it.
Personally I'm not a fan of Larkin, that's not to pick at your choices as everyone has different taste but I find the most bareable one is Sunny prestatyn. It's not as arrogant as my least favourites by Larkin and has a sort fo cryptic message with the cancer bit at the end. Although it's not on my top ten....
Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse
They **** you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were ****ed up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
excuse the expletives..but this is pure genius!
"An Arundel Tomb", "Church Going" and "This be the verse". Larkin's cantankerousness and cynicism really appeal to me but there's definitely something very poignant about these poems. The same could be said of "Afternoons".
I second This Be The Verse. Much as I love my parents, there is much truth in the poem.
Days sends a chill up my spine whenever I read it-just this image of the doctor and priest with weird grins on their face, running in slow motion across the field towards me... what overactive imagination!?
'Aubade' - his 'supposed last poem'... its perfect.
'The Whitsun Weddings' is good too... lovely ejaculation imagery at the end.
'A poem is not a poem with sex or death or both... but not necrophilia'
This be the Verse I spose. I can't stand the guy. My English group voted UNANIMOUSLY to do a different option to the one that required studying Larkin's poetry lol.