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The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin by Philip Larkin
  

The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin

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Reviewed and selected by our poetry expert, Liam Parkin.

As one of the most celebrated and revered poets of the twentieth century, it is surprising that as comprehensive a book as The Complete Poems of Larkin has taken until 2012 to be released. But what makes this collection different to its predecessors is the extensive research that has gone in to compiling it. Rather than solely finding unpublished poems and using his four main collections, editor Archie Burnett has meticulously scrawled through all of Larkin’s typescripts to find poems hidden in letters and various notations. Working with this knowledge, he highlights the complexity and influence with which Larkin had written – something that many critics neglect. Many of the poems have been restored to their original form, making this the most complete and definitive collection of the works of Philip Larkin.

Synopsis

The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin by Philip Larkin

The manuscript and printed sources have been scrutinized afresh; more detailed accounts than hitherto available of the sources of the text and of dates of composition are provided; and, previous accounts of composition dates have been corrected. Variant wordings from Larkin's typescripts and the early printings are recorded. For the first time, the poems are given a comprehensive commentary. This draws critically upon, and substantially extends, the accumulated scholarship on Larkin, and covers closely relevant historical contexts, persons and places, allusions and echoes, and linguistic usage. Due prominence is given to the poet's comments on his poems, which often outline the circumstances that gave rise to a poem, or state what he was trying to achieve. Larkin played down his literariness, but his poetry enrichingly alludes to and echoes the writings of many others; Archie Burnett's commentary establishes him as a more complex and more literary poet than many readers have suspected.

About the Author

Philip Larkin was born in 1922 and grew up in Coventry. In 1955 he became Librarian of the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull, a post he held until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the W.H. Smith Award.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Philip Larkin

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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Poetry
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ISBN

9780571240067

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