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Philip Larkin - Collected Poems Hardcover – 10 Oct 1988


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 357 pages
  • Publisher: The Marvell Press & Faber and Faber; First Edition edition (10 Oct. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571151965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571151967
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.3 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Philip Larkin's Collected Poems contains all of this enormously popular poet's work, from The North Ship, The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 117 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 2003
Format: Paperback
No edition of Larkin's poems could ever be a waste of paper, and anybody without them should buy at once: but please note that this is not the 1980s edition of the same name, and has been cut. It has the same title and editor, and looks like the same book - indeed its blurb is the same - but many of his juvenile poems are omitted and the arrangement is no longer chronological. Given that Larkin spent his adult life as a university librarian, it seems ironic that his Collected will be the source of endless confusion and misidentification in future catalogues. Faber have done him a pointless disservice by this new version, and another by not identifying it as such. But I can only bear to knock one star off the total.
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191 of 197 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. O. Jones on 22 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
If you want an edition that doesn't contain more than forty poems from Larkin's maturity, then this is the one for you. If, however, you would like to be able to read what Blake Morrison called 'Larkin's last great poem' ('Love Again') or other examples that stand comparison with his best work, like 'Marriages', 'Letter to a Friend about Girls', 'Strangers', 'Autumn', 'Maturity', 'The Dance', 'Negative Indicative' etc etc, then avoid this edition at all costs. Try and get the original Collected Poems second hand, which has them all in. Otherwise you risk being socially embarrassed when someone starts talking to you about 'Gathering Wood' and you swear blind Larkin never wrote such a poem. Think of it!

P.S. It has been pointed out that this review has been posted on ALL the editions of Larkin's collected poems, which is pretty stupid and unhelpful. What is the point of listing editions separately and then posting a review aimed at one particular edition on them all? Anyway, this review is aimed at the 2003 edition, which is (I believe) the first to conatin the cuts. Anything before that date should be OK (UK & US editions). There are plenty available, I urge you to buy them and avoid missing out on some superb poems.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By M. G. Alexander Wall on 18 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
...Tritely characterised as a misanthrope and a curmudgeon the poems of his cannon are full of intense beauty and moments of potently alluring melancholy wholly at odds with the image. It is often claimed that Larkin wrote only 4 great poems - Here, Dockery and Son, Aubade, The Witsun Weddings - This collection underlines the absurdity of this view - In poems like Church Going, Arundel Tomb and Show Saturday we find a poet who resolves the seemingly mundane into conclusion whose optimism and joy are all the more intense for being reasoned to rather than asserted. His deeply British sense of identity and location are also expressed in wonderfully comic and self-deprecating pieces such as 'I remember I remember', 'vers de societe'. Finally on death and ageing he expresses everyman's fear with a clarity that is truly chilling in its finality.
I have been reading Larkin for 15 years, the depth and power of his writing continues to amaze and delight me.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
Larkin frequently adopts the persona of the very ordinary man in the street to explore his themes. As a consequence, his poetic language is that of the public bar rather than the literary salon; it is derived from Anglo-Saxon, not Latin or Greek. He is not, for example, averse to using expletives such as "crap" or the "f-word" when moved to despair or fury. The adopted, (or is it Larkin himself?) down-to-earth voice has a colloquially dismissive tone to it, his cyclist in "Church Going", for example, refers to the altar being, "up at the holy end", as he wanders about the building, "bored and uninformed", observing the, "brass and stuff." Equally, in "Poetry of departures", he refers to an acquaintance who has abandoned the conventional life as having, "chucked up everything and just cleared off". This is a man with an educational deficit, who thinks, "books are a load of crap" ("A study of reading habits"), while at the same time, and somewhat slyly, making it clear that he is aware of the existence of words such as "pyx" and "rood lofts," even if he doesn't know the precise meaning of them. However, the reader is only temporarily fooled by this apparent simple-mindedness. Larkin's man in the street is quite capable of profound thought, as is made abundantly clear in the final stanzas. The poems move from a flippant start toward an unanticipated gravitas, where weighty matters are analysed and ex cathedra pronouncements uttered. Larkin's longer poems move, in a tightly controlled manner, toward that cerebral ending.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Kemp on 23 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read this volume numerous times over the years, and keep returning to the wonderful collection of poetry. There have been more recent updated collections of Larkin’s comparatively meagre poetic output, and indeed more recent collections have been quite dismissive of Anthony Thwaite’s pioneering Collected Poems, but this is the one that I like best.
The volume starts with Larkin’s rather Yeatsian poems of the 1940s and early 1950s, before he found his unique voice that is now so familiar to many admirers, and started to write verse such as 1914, Whitsun Weddings, Mr Bleaney, Show Saturday and Aubade among many others, that simply take your breathe way with her poetic beauty. The latter third of the volume constitutes Larkin’s very early verse, including some juvenilia – within which there are quite a few gems, including Femmes Damnees, though compared to his later works, the style seems rather disjointed and mannered.
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