Philip Larkin (1922-1985)

Philip Larkin was the follower and admirer of William Butler Yeats and Thomas Hardy. Philip Larkin belonged to a group of poets known in the 1950’s as the “New Lines”, or “Movement”, who believed that the intellect and the moral judgment can be vividly expressed in the form of poetry.

Philip Larkin is the best-known poet writing in the tradition of quietness. Like Thomas Hardy, he looks back to the past with a sense of sadness and the transience of things. Real happiness seems only to have happened in the past, as in Larkin’s poem on hearing a bird of spring sing outside his window at the end of the winter.

It will be spring soon,

It will be spring soon —

And I, whose childhood

Is a forgotten boredom

Feel like a child

Who comes on a scene

Of adults reconciling

And can understand nothing

But the unusual laughter

And starts to be happy.

Philip Larkin expresses his understanding of life as of what has been lost:

Life is first boredom, then fear.

Whether or not we use it, it goes,

And leaves what something hidden from us chose,

And age, and then the only end of age.

His poem “Love Songs in Age” continues this theme.

Read on Google Books

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