Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Philip Larkin!

Today is the birthday of my favorite English-language poet, Philip Larkin!

I have been obsessed with Larkin since I read his Collected Poems (a slim little collection, considering he only published four books in his lifetime) a couple years ago. He writes so beautifully about life inside its most mundane details. His work is always honest, sometimes funny, and often brilliant. A master of loneliness, Larkin worked as a librarian at a British University for most of his life, publishing poetry on the side. He's considered a sad poet writing sad poems, but I think the quiet despair of the daily grind is what makes his work so compelling and necessary in our world. The Writer's Almanac has a lovely little section about Larkin on its website today, complete with the story about how his hometown is celebrating him with a plethora of toads. Yay, Larkin!


  1. That picture of him reminds me of the doctor from the Gnome Mobile.

  2. I didn't know how much I loved Larkin's poems until I started blogging, and the list of authors kept having Larkin at the top, because I think of poems by him more often than anyone else, including Wallace Stevens, which would have been my guess.