48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Glimpses of joy more poigniant for the fear and despair,
This review is from: Philip Larkin Collected Poems (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.