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108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doubtful edition of good book
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...
Published on 4 April 2003

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174 of 179 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The wrong edition
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',...
Published on 22 Dec 2007 by Mr. C. O. Jones


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174 of 179 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The wrong edition, 22 Dec 2007
By 
Mr. C. O. Jones (Norwich) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doubtful edition of good book, 4 April 2003
By A Customer
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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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glimpses of joy more poigniant for the fear and despair, 18 Sep 2000
By 
M. G. Alexander Wall (London) - See all my reviews
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...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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something about Larkin., 2 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Collected Poems (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. In "Church Going" for example, the rather boorish cyclist, after fooling about at the lectern, begins musing on the uses to which churches might be put in the future. He concludes with a stanza, which attempts to define the possible reasons for the continuation of religious sentiment, or something akin to it. The language, for the most part, remains fairly simple, but includes the obscure word "blent" and the phrase, "robed as destinies," These, along with the triple repetition of "serious", have the effect of creating a weighty tone, entirely in keeping with the subject matter. We are drawn into Larkin's poems by the intriguing banality of the initial focus, along with that very ordinary voice. The endings, however, leave us thinking.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not THE 'Collected Poems', 26 Jan 2011
By 
JAW "JAW" (Surrey, England.) - See all my reviews
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This is not, repeat not, Larkin's 'Collected Poems' as a purchaser (myself included) might reasonably expect. It is Larkin's collected PUBLISHED poems and should say so prominently on the cover. A more accurate title would have been 'Philip Larkin: Selected Published Poems' or even 'Philip Larkin: Only the Poems I Somehow Know He Would Have Wanted to Survive'. Many fine Larkin poems (30 or 40?) have been excluded and the casual reader would not be aware of their existence without additional research or stumbling upon a mention elsewhere.
An alleged 'Collected Shakespeare' including only material published in the Bard's lifetime is not a collected Shakespeare (half of the plays weren't published until years after his death) and would/should not be sold as such.
My rating doesn't reflect on the quality of the book's contents (on the contrary...) but its unadvertised incompleteness. The book's title is downright misleading and I would have bought the true collected works in the earlier editions instead had I known.
A close read of the inside cover might have supplied some (but not full) warning I suppose, but I didn't get to see the the inside cover before buying on-line. And I don't think it's good enough to say 'oh, you should have read the fine print...'. I don't do (repeat) business with anyone who says 'you should have read the fine print'.
Please excuse the irascible tone but I feel I've been misled and short-changed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philip Larkin Collected Poems, 4 Jun 2009
By 
Ms. K. Murray "Kathy2207" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This book is brilliant, I spend my time reading his poems over and over again, and the favourites get better, whiles the ones I have not read before become great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for those new to Larkin, 26 Jan 2010
By 
Rambam HaTalmid (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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I received my book yesterday and am very pleased.
I had previously only read Larkin on the internet and am delighted to have a collection of his poetry.

The issues that people have mentioned about differences between the various editions, are undoubtedly pertinent to those who are already Larkin aficionados.
However, to those of us who are new to Larkin, this book is a delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philip Larkin as a Luxury--yet cheaper than a two mile bus ride., 12 Aug 2013
By 
andrew grimes (BOLTON, Lancs, GB) - See all my reviews
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In spite of its low price, this is a luxury object, worthy of a conspicuous place on the top shelf of anybody's verse collection. The book is beautifully bound and printed, easy to hold in the hand on buses and trains and planes, and also in bed, preferably in the company of a literate and good-humoured beautiful woman. Larkin is a maestro of the slick and cutting put-down, but also compellingly humane. His language seems deceptively ordinary, but dig half a centimetre beneath its surface and you strike gold. He is one of the five very great English poets of the 20th century. This edition is a credit to its publishers and to its typographers. One hundred out of a hundred. Buy two or three copies in case you are foolish enough to give two away, and have the third one nicked by an evil party guest. Andrew Grimes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Not Complete!, 11 July 2012
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Of course I will give Larkin 5 stars any day. His poetry uniquely captures what it is to be human, British and breathing in the pessimistic 20th century. Just a really class act. But many of his great love poems ("Marriages", "The Dance", "Love Again") aren't here. There is an earlier, complete edition with the same title readers should seek out. You let us down, Faber!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window on the world, 6 Oct 2007
By 
DavyA (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
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Like so many others, I discovered Larkin doing A level English. Nothing else, I studied then, has stuck with me , some 20 years on, like Larkin has. Simply, a very cynical yet accurate summation of the way life can be lead - wonderful in every way.
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Collected Poems
Collected Poems by Philip Larkin (Hardcover - 10 Oct 1988)
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