Philip Larkin: Selected Poems

Author: Gilroy, John


ISBN 978-1-84760-100-1 Pages: 119; PDF file 1mb. Illustrations: 1 colour, 2 b&w Internal hyperlinks: 3 External hyperlinks: 5
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Our best-selling poetry study guide offers a detailed commentary on the poetry of Philip Larkin, exploring the political and cultural contexts which have shaped his contemporary reputation.
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Part 1, Life and Times, traces Larkin's early years and follows his development, within his career as a university librarian, into one of the most important and popular voices in twentieth-century poetry.

Part 2, Artistic Strategies, explores a range of methodologies and aesthetic influences by which Larkin was able to create poetry at once both accessible and profound.

Part 3, Reading Larkin, provides detailed critical commentary on many of the poems from his three major collections, The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows: Next, Please / Toads / Triple Time / No Road / Poetryof Departures / Dry-Point / Deceptions / At Grass / Church Going / Days / Talking in Bed / A Study of Reading Habits / As Bad as a Mile / An Arundel Tomb / Toads Revisited / Mr Bleaney / MCMXIV / Ambulances / The Whitsun Weddings / Dockery and Son / Self's the Man / To the Sea / Sad Steps / Vers de Société / The Building/High Windows / Show Saturday / Annus Mirabilis / The Trees / Aubade.

Part 4, Reception, outlines the history of Larkin's reputation from the mid-1950s to the present, examining the debates and ideological confrontations to which his poetry has given rise.

About the author

John Gilroy took his BA at the University of Newcastle and his MPhil at the University of Warwick. He is co-author of A Commentary on Wordsworth’s Prelude: Books 1–5 (London: RKP, 1983), Gerard Manley Hopkins: Selected Poems (Humanities ebooks ‘Insights’, 2007) and Romantic Literature (York Companions to Literature series, London: York Press, 2010). He is a part-time lecturer in the English Department at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and a course director for the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education’s international and residential programmes.

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Review Comment

***** Five Star Reviews on Amazon UK *****

Insightful Assessment of a still under-rated Poet. I found this book gripped me from the start. Confirming some things I though I knew, illuminating areas I knew little about and flatly contradicting some misconceptions, the book is insightful, sympathetic and, of course, literate. Here is the real Larkin - a poet I admired more than liked, revealed to be more interesting and accomplished than I knew. By Roy

An Excellent Larkin Teacher provides a great insight into the Poet and his Times. This book reflects great scholarship. Mr Gilroy is a dedicated and insightful reader of Larkin and I recommend this book simply because it has made Larkin one of my favorite poets. By Alexandros Alexandropoulos

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