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Philip Larkin Poems: Selected by Martin Amis

Philip Larkin Poems: Selected by Martin Amis [Kindle Edition]

Philip Larkin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

Selected poems from one of the nation's best-loved poets, edited by Martin Amis.

Product Description

For the first time, Faber publish a selection from the poetry of Philip Larkin. Drawing on Larkin's four collections and on his uncollected poems. Chosen by Martin Amis.

'Many poets make us smile; how many poets make us laugh - or, in that curious phrase, "laugh out loud" (as if there's another way of doing it)? Who else uses an essentially conversational idiom to achieve such a variety of emotional effects? Who else takes us, and takes us so often, from sunlit levity to mellifluous gloom?... Larkin, often, is more than memorable: he is instantly unforgettable.' - Martin Amis

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 284 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Poetry (5 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007UQ44X6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,210 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922 and was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry, and St John's College, Oxford. As well as his volumes of poems, which include The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, he wrote two novels, Jill and A Girl in Winter, and two books of collected journalism: All What Jazz: A Record Library, and Required Writing: Miscellaneous Prose. He worked as a librarian at the University of Hull from 1955 until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation, and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and the W. H. Smith Award.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Larkin. 18 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This very slim volume is a very well presented (poem a page) introduction to Larkin's poetry for those not familiar with his work. The selection of poems is interesting - the familiar and less familiar, ironic, satiric and moribund - an easy read if you have not the thought to spare or are misled by apparent simplicity.
For those, like me, who have read the collected poems and think we may know a little something, Martin Amis' excellent introduction will quickly reassure us that we don't - very informative as well as entertaining.
For only the cost of a bottle of wine, go on and buy it. Or, better still, buy both.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem - and with a fine foreword by Amis. 23 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
You are going to enjoy this little gem of a book if you choose to buy it: it is a genuine gem. Larkin offers insights into the human condition like no other poet: wonderful poetry that seems so utterly authentic, written in a unique style that seems so utterly straightforward (and yet which carries such depth, too).

The foreword by Martin Amis is substantial and enjoyable. He offers good reasons why Larkin is still such a very popular poet and gives a well-considered redress to the sly negativity that Andrew Motion's biography stirred up a decade or so ago. Larkin's poems themselves will always rise above such as that.

Well worth buying - a treasure!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shot in the Arm. 2 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well presented very slim hardback containing all too few of Larkin's poems. I bought several copies to give to acquaintances as an introduction to Larkin because they had been too squeamish - 'too sensitive' - to admit to fears about their own mortality previously and who thought him 'too rude'. The selection - limited as it is - is excellent and cuts to the quick of Larkin's poetry. But what made me choose this book in the end was Martin Amis' introduction. Those who read Larkin's collected poems regularly may need the shot in the arm Amis gives us to remind us of the originality of the poetry we admire. As an introduction to Larkin, I can think of no better gift.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real treasure 9 Aug 2013
By harps
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You will enjoy this little treasure
A great introduction to Larkin who has a great insight into the human spirit
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Novelist Remembers A Poet 11 Sep 2012
By H. F. Corbin - Published on
Already possessing the COLLECTED POEMS of Philip Larkin, I bought this book simply to read Martin Amis' introduction to a poet I have come to love and to see which poems he would chose for this collection. Mr. Amis discusses Larkin's place as the best loved poet in Great Britain since World War II, briefly quotes some of Larkin's most memorable lines "that everyone knows and everyone automatically memorizes," and makes the case for his being a novelist's poet. He, however, does not shy away from Larkin's racism and misogyny that came to light with the publication of his letters in 1992 and Andrew Motion's A WRITER'S LIFE (1993). Amis reminds us that a writer's life does not matter; "only the work matters." I remembered that three of my favorite writers on this side of the Atlantic are less than perfect. Christopher Isherwood's diaries reveal that he often made anti-Semitic remarks, Saul Bellow's letters indicate that he apparently was homophobic, and Flannery O'Connor used the N word and told racist jokes. Just as I can revel in these three writers' fiction in spite of their private lives, I would not have wanted to miss poems like "Church Going," "Sad Steps," "The Whitsun Weddings," "An Arundel Tomb"-- the list goes on-- regardless of what Larkin's life was like.

Amis also discusses the connection between Larkin, the librarian who never married, and his own family. Amis' brother Philip was named for Larkin and was his godson; and Kingsley, Martin's father, "loved Philip with a near-physical passion." Larkin, on the other hand, in his letters seldom mentioned Kingsley "without sourness." Amis opined that it may have had something to do with the suspicion of the bourgeois towards the bohemian. Kingsley, however, read two or three of Larkin's poems every night until his own death in 1995 but admitted after Larkin's funeral that he sometimes wondered if he ever knew him.

A thoughtful and brilliant introduction worthy of these fine poems.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended as the ideal collection of Larkin's poetry 22 April 2014
By R. M. Peterson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Philip Larkin is one of my favorite poets. I, apparently, have plenty of company. Martin Amis writes that Larkin is "Britain's best-loved poet since World War II." Having recently re-read a fair amount of Larkin's poetry, including the three major volumes published during his lifetime ("The Less Deceived", "The Whitsun Weddings", and "High Windows"), I was curious to see which poems made it into Amis's "Selection". He chose fifty-eight poems in all, and I must say that if I were to choose my favorite fifty-eight Larkin poems, there would be about ninety percent overlap. I therefore can strongly endorse Amis's SELECTED POEMS OF PHILIP LARKIN as an ideal introduction to Larkin's poetry. Indeed, if you never went beyond Amis's SELECTED POEMS you would not be missing much of consequence.

Enhancing the value of the book is Martin Amis's relatively short (fifteen pages) introduction to Larkin's life and work. It, of course, bears a patina of intimacy by virtue of the fact that Martin's father Kingsley was perhaps Larkin's closest male friend. It contains some inside information, but it also is an intelligent and I think objective assessment of Larkin as a man and as a poet. Here is one snippet:

"The poems are transparent (they need no mediation), yet they tantalise the reader with glimpses of an impenetrable self: so much yearning, so much debility; an eros that self-thwarts and self-finesses. This is what rivets us: the mystery story of Larkin's soul."

Finally, I should add that the hardcover volume published by Faber and Faber is a very handsome book, with high-quality paper and attractive layout and typesetting. I am not a user of e-readers, but I recognize that for many people they are now the preferred, even the exclusive, vehicle for print media. Yet there are some books that are so worthwhile as artifacts of our culture, so deserving of "permanence", that an e-reader does them a pronounced disservice. SELECTED POEMS OF PHILIP LARKIN is one such book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Novelist's Poet 7 Aug 2013
By Stephen Ross - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent collection of Philip Larkin's poetry selected by Martin Amis. It's an ideal introduction to the man's writing. Amis knew Larkin, insofar as anyone could have known him, and his introduction to the collection has the distinct pleasure of being close to its subject. Larkin is a must-read for any prose writer. His clear verse and tightness of tone are exemplary.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be treasured 28 Feb 2013
By gordonoz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Larkin has great insight into the human condition and it is a privilege to share it. At times he is shockingly realistic about life and death and all that goes on between, but he shocks not with the red of blood but with the beige of prurient shyness.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good collection, nice forward by Martin Amis 9 Dec 2013
By Ian R. Bruce - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I came to Larkin via his admirers, notably Martin Amis who writes a forward in this collection. His dour, deadpan and thoroughly unsentimental poems appealed to me, as did his almost complete refusal to participate in the literary life that most of his contemporaries enjoyed.

I found his earlier poems not very interesting, and many of his later poems bleak. Amiws says that Larkin is a writers' poet, not a poets' poet, and as a poetry philistine I think I agree.
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