monday verse: annus mirabilis

Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) - Between the end of the Chatterley ban And the Beatles' first LP. Up to then there'd only been A sort of bargaining, A wrangle for the ring, A shame that started at sixteen And spread to everything. Then all at once the … Continue reading monday verse: annus mirabilis

The Best Philip Larkin Poems Everyone Should Read

I’ve just come across this on the Interesting Literature blog – a personal choice of 10 Philip Larkin poems. Includes some of my favourites, and well worth a read.

Interesting Literature

Our pick of the 10 best Philip Larkin poems and why you should read them

Trying to create a ‘top ten’ definitive list of Philip Larkin’s best poems is impossible, not least because each Larkin fan will come up with a slightly different list. However, we’ve tried our best to bring together some of Larkin’s most classic poems here. Whether you’re a devoted fan of the great man’s work, or seeking an introduction to a handful of his best poems, you should find something of interest here.

We’ve provided the year of composition for each poem rather than the date of publication; given that all but one of the poems in the list appeared in one of just three volumes of poetry (published in 1955, 1964, and 1974), and Larkin sometimes kept a poem for several years before publishing it, we figured that knowing when he wrote it (or, more…

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monday verse: long lion days

Long lion days Start with white haze. By midday you meet A hammer of heat - Whatever was sown Now fully grown, Whatever conceived Now fully leaved, Abounding, ablaze - O long lion days! Long Lion Days by Philip Larkin This little poem by Philip Larkin seems very appropriate, as we're in the middle of … Continue reading monday verse: long lion days

monday verse: the trees

The trees are coming into leaf Like something almost being said; The recent buds relax and spread, Their greenness is a kind of grief. from The Trees by Philip Larkin This is the poem I think of every spring when the trees first start to turn green. I've only quoted the first verse here, but … Continue reading monday verse: the trees

monday verse: first sight

Lambs that learn to walk in snow When their bleating clouds the air Meet a vast unwelcome, know Nothing but a sunless glare. Newly stumbling to and fro All they find, outside the fold, Is a wretched width of cold. As they wait beside the ewe, Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies Hidden round them, … Continue reading monday verse: first sight