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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest collection of poetry in English,
By A Customer
This review is from: High Windows (Paperback)It is not merely because it is his last collection that High Windows shoulders the burden of Larkin's artistic reputation: it is also his greatest collection.
This volume is as maddeningly thin as it is beautiful, and despite containing Larkin's final published pieces, it serves as a splendid introduction to the poet.
'This Be The Verse', for instance, perhaps most typifies (and gratifies) the popular image of Larkin: a poem with doggerel beginnings, which emerges into the splendour of a transcendent final stanza ('Man hands on misery to man...'), only to drop once again into the doggerel voice for the final line ('And don't have any kids yourself'). One of the most honed aspects of Larkin's genius was his manipulation of different tones and registers, over which he shows a Prospero-like control in this collection.
If, as has been suggested, Larkin was shooting prospective glances at his own posthumous reputation in High Windows, 'Posterity' suggests it was not without the same withering humour he displayed throughout his career, both as a poet and in his journalism.
Now that the urgency of the Larkin debate has thoroughly died down (his 'political incorrectness' was for a while regarded with a seriousness comparable only to Heidegger's Nazism), it is a perfect time to read this poetry as poetry: as the epitome of Larkin's poetic insights, and as the greatest work of one of the last truly original English poets.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes me feel old (not necessarily a bad thing),
This review is from: High Windows (Paperback)I have a curious relationship with this collection. Quite often I find myself disagreeing with Larkin's views as much as I agree. However I cannot help but admire the majestic clarity of his verse. Nowhere is this illustrated better than in the title poem, which begins with Larkin at his most cynical and vulgar yet ends with a baffling but soaring evocation of emptiness.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philip Larkin dubious Man superb poet,
This review is from: High Windows (Kindle Edition)This slim volume contains some of the most memorable poetry of the 20th century,once read never quite leaves your consciousness
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant story teller,
This review is from: High Windows (Kindle Edition)Larkin writes about life in the raw I have to have more of this wonderful poet and story teller.Loved this book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philip Larkin, 'High Windows'.,
This review is from: High Windows (Paperback)Published in 1974 ten years after the success of 'The Whitson Weddings' this collection shows a much darker side to Larkin. Death, and the fear of death, are the subject of many of the poems, although in Larkin's skilled hands the results are uplifting and life-enhancing.
As ever, loss is a central theme, especially in such poems as, 'Going, Going' ,'Sad Steps' and 'This Be The Verse', but then Larkin turns round and gives us explosions of joy such as 'Show Saturday' and the title of the collection, 'High Windows'.
Taken together with 'The Whitson Weddings', 'High Windows' this is a fine introduction to some of his finest, and most profound poetry.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going, Going...Gone,
This review is from: "High Windows" (York Notes Advanced) (Paperback)York Notes and York Notes Advanced remain, for me at least, the gold standard in study guides/revision aids. Larkin's poems are not all that well served in terms of accessible criticism and notes for A-level students, and especially if you are teaching or studying the poetry anthology for AQA English Literature B, this text is an invaluable purchase. It provides fresh ways of exploring Larkin's poems, structural analyses, contextual information, and plenty more.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larkin leaves the best to last,
This review is from: High Windows (Paperback)High Windows is the final publication from the late poet. It is indeed worthy of consideration as his finest work. The subltlety, style and insightfulness of Whitsun Weddings and The Less Deceived are there as are the Larkin hallmarks of masterly control of rhythmn and rhyme in addition to memorable lines of poetic excellence. The collection also hints at a new development in the poet's work through a celebration of the creative life force which exists somewhere beyond present reality: the title poem High Windows encompasses this celebratory tone. The High Windows and their "sun comprehending glass" remind the poet a depth of existence beyond the coarseness of the physical world. This is an uncharacteristic acknowledgement of the spiritual from a poet who trades on his cynical, morbid interpretation of life as one breath away from the vast emptiness of death. The later Larkin seems to realise, however briefly, that High Windows are portals to a level of existence which just might offer hope and be worthy of celebration.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POETRY by LARKIN,
This review is from: High Windows (Paperback)Anyone who has read WHITSUN WEDDINGS wont be surprised that this typical Larkin.
I have recently been introduced to his work and although some may say hes depressing, I find his work wonderful.
He sees life as it is some of the time and doesn't try to convince everything is always wonderful.
If you like Larkin or are just starting to read him, well worth a read.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some poetic gems hard-won from hostile terrain,
This review is from: High Windows (Paperback)This collection of Larkin's poems from the 1960s still resonates today, and shows glimpses of the best and worst of one of Britain's greatest 20th-century poets. The best comes out in (all too rare) images that capture the joy of living: `The million-petalled flower/Of being here' (`The Old Fools'); or the deft evocation of an English summer in `...high-builded cloud/Moving at summer's pace' (`Cut Grass'). But these moments are few, and though the content of some poems still has something to say -`Going, Going' voices Larkin's fears for the vanishing green belt, while `Homage to a Covenant' takes issue with UK armed forces reductions abroad, for example - Larkin's sterile and world-weary atheism has a rather vice-like grip on the tone of the collection. That he managed to write at all under the burden of such pessimism must be counted something of a triumph, so enjoy the hard-won gems mined from such unyielding bedrock.
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High Windows by Philip Larkin (Paperback - 29 Oct 1979)