Philip Larkin (1922-1985) grew up in Coventry, England. In 1955 he became librarian of the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull, a post he held until his death. He was the recipient of innumerable honors, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
Thwaite has gathered all the poems Larkin wrote between 1946 and 1985, the year of his death; he also includes a generous selection of work written earlier, before Larkin found his characteristic voice. In all, there are some 240 poems, 83 of them never published before. The unpublished work comes from every period of Larkin's career and increases by half the number of poems in his canon. The poet we now have is considerably more prolific than the one who issued only three small, mature collections in his lifetime. With or without the new poems, Larkin is a major postwar British writer, and this is the best available collection of his poetry. An essential addition to both academic and general libraries.-- Michael Hennessy, Southwest Texas State Univ., San Marcos
"More often than any other English poet since the war, Larkin gave us lines that it is unlikely we'll be able to forget." --Ian Hamilton, The Times (London) "Larkin is resolute, forthright, witty, and gloomy. This is the man who famously said that deprivation was for him what daffodils were for Wordsworth. Yet surely the results of this life, in the shape of his poems, are gifts, not deprivations." --Donald Hall, The New Criterion