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The Whitsun Weddings [Hardcover]

Philip Larkin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 May 2010
Philip Larkin (1922-1985) remains England's best-loved poet - a writer matchlessly capable of evoking his native land and of touching all readers from the most sophisticated intellectual to the proverbial common reader. The late John Betjeman observed that 'this tenderly observant poet writes clearly, rhythmically, and thoughtfully about what all of us can understand'. Behind this modest description lies a poet who made greatness look, in Milton's prescription, 'simple, sensuous and passionate'.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (6 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571259286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571259281
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Book Description

One of six wonderful collections published in celebration of Faber's rich poetry heritage.

From the Publisher

We are pleased to announce the publication of eleven more titles into the new typographic look. The specifications for the books are high -beautifully produced, they all have flaps and are sewn and printed in Italy. The latest batch represents some of the core titles of the backlist (Philip Larkin's Collected Poems, Ted Hughes's New Selected Poems, James Joyce's Poems and Shorter Writings) along with key, single volumes that should be part of any poetry lover's library (and whose reissue, in the form in which they were first published, will give a whole new generation the pleasure of coming to the books as original readers). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Whitsun Weddings 21 Nov 2007
By Dani.
Format:Paperback
Looking at the previous reviews I find it quite adverse that someone would condemn a book of poetry because it isn't 'perky' enough. I thought poetry was about so much more than just lifting the spirits.

I myself am 17, studying The Whitsun Weddings for my AS level. Incontestably, it is of a depressive nature, but I do not view this as a possible criticism of the book. This is the very thing that makes it a worthwhile read. Larkin's pessimistic/realist views on matters such as monogamy and marriage, consumerism and generally pre-idealised life are yes, very blunt and negative, but something we have all atleast pondered on. I think his work is very enjoyable. With his arrogance constantly juxaposed with his feelings of inadequacy, I felt like I could despise him, and at the same time, completely empathise with him. Intricate work!

I recommend it!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dramatically truthful poetry 29 July 2003
By sjs101 VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Larkin’s poetry is very commonly perceived as being highly negative and melancholic, with themes such as death and disappointment featuring frequently throughout. However when reading the Whitsun weddings you can’t help but feel that Larkin is simply creating a voice for our own personal worries and concerns.
Due to his sharp, perceptive observations on life and its many obstacles, we see that Larkin is not a miserable character, and the only reason he is perceived as being this way is because his poems within the Whitsun weddings are of death, disappointment and failing love and are stereotypically things we don’t want to hear but sadly are very true to life’s journey.
The collection works well as it creates a variety of mood and tone, never having two poems of the same theme next to each other. Larkin adopts the persona of the everyday man when narrating the poems and we see characters such as ‘Arnold’ in ‘Self’s the Man’ that are thoroughly unfulfilled in their lives. When reading the poems you can see how thought provoking they really are, as they sometimes read as warnings, such as ‘Mr Bleaney’ the ‘tale’ of a man who ‘warrants no better’ than a small, empty room where family do not visit. The protagonists created by Larkin are
Shocking, as the honesty and stark nature in which they are described makes you realise that, “that could be me if I choose to watch life rather than participate in it”.
A great collection of poetry written by a man commonly misunderstood because of his honest, tender and shocking observations on life, love and death. Larkin has his hands gripped firmly on reality and is massively aware and unafraid to express his worries, fears and concerns to others whether or not they are things one wants to hear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry tenderly and honestly observed 8 July 2003
By sjs101 VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Larkin's poetry is very commonly perceived as being highly negative and melancholic, with themes such as death and disappointment featuring frequently throughout. However when reading the Whitsun weddings you can't help but feel that Larkin is simply creating a voice for our own personal worries and concerns.
Due to his sharp, perceptive observations on life and its many obstacles, we see that Larkin is not a miserable character, and the only reason he is perceived as being this way is because his poems within the Whitsun weddings are of death, disappointment and failing love and are stereotypically things we don't want to hear but sadly are very true to life's journey.
The collection works well as it creates a variety of mood and tone, never having two poems of the same theme next to each other. Larkin adopts the persona of the everyday man when narrating the poems and we see characters such as 'Arnold' in 'Self's the Man' that are thoroughly unfulfilled in their lives. When reading the poems you can see how thought provoking they really are, as they sometimes read as warnings, such as 'Mr Bleaney' the 'tale' of a man who 'warrants no better' than a small, empty room where family do not visit. The protagonists created by Larkin are shocking, as the honesty and stark nature in which they are described makes you realise that, "that could be me if I choose to watch life rather than participate in it".
A great collection of poetry written by a man commonly misunderstood because of his honest, tender and shocking observations on life, love and death. Larkin has his hands gripped firmly on reality and is massively aware and unafraid to express his worries, fears and concerns to others whether or not they are things one wants to hear.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What survives... 1 July 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
My introduction to Philip Larkin and his collection of verse,' The Whitsun Weddings' I owe to my friend David Evennett, one-time Member of Parliament for Erith and Crayford. Back when I was researcher for a Member of Parliament, I had an avocation as a poet. David discovered this, and recommended Larkin as a poetic voice worthy of attention. (His researcher acted surprised, blurting out loud much to our amusement, 'And here I always took you for a Philistine!') I have been grateful ever since, as I frequently return to this slim volume of verse for inspiration and reflection.
This volume of poetry includes 32 poems. A small book first published in 1964, it has proven so popular (something rare in poetry circles) that it has been reprinted four times during the 1970s, four times during the 1980s, and continues to be reprinted periodically up to the present day.
John Betjeman, one-time poet laureate of England, once commented of Larkin that 'this tenderly observant poet writes clearly, rhythmically, and thoughtfully about what all of us can understand.' This is the key to Larkin's verse -- accessibility. There are no obvious poetical devices that overpower the meaning or the language; there are no forced schemes, however brilliantly executed, that impose themselves on the reader. The gentle rhythms carry the reader like a slow-moving train on a well-cushioned track.
The poem `Mr. Bleaney' is the one David first drew attention to when I brought in the small book a few days after his recommendation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A little more worn than expected
It was described as good condition and the book is but there were a lot more pencil/pen marks made in it than I expected. Obviously a well studied copy.
Published 6 months ago by queenb69
4.0 out of 5 stars Phillip Larkin
This book was purchased as a second hand book, which it arrived in exactly that state. But that was ok as it was any more than I expected.
Published 8 months ago by Gillian Wilks
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for studying Larkin's poetry
His poetry is interesting, but quite negative in regards to post-war Britain, a time of rationing and Americanized consumerism. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anabella
5.0 out of 5 stars The Whitsun Weddings
Brilliant collection of poems from one of our finest poets. Would highly recommend this text to students without any hesitation.
Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth Stevens
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
The book was in a worse state than descripted, however does the job so I'm thankful for it, specially with the price I could not complain
Published 10 months ago by Raeesa
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great for English in school, and easy to make annotations in. Clear to read. Larkin is a poetic genius too.
Published 16 months ago by Aishah
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
I ordered two of these books and they arrived very quickly, and were reasonably priced. They have been very useful for my daughters coursework.
Published 19 months ago by Miss J More
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
Always loved Larkin's work, and it is great to have on the Kindle. Now I can choose to read all, or just have a poem a day
Published 20 months ago by Tony Whelan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
A very enjoyable and insightful book of poetry, this coming from someone who is usually very impatient with the poetic form! Read more
Published 21 months ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars THe Whitsun Weddings
Product (Philip Larkin's The Whitsun Weddings) arrived on time. Brilliant condition just as decribed by seller. Very useful for my A-level coursework.
Published on 30 Sep 2011 by Hayden B
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