Philip Larkin Poetic Genius? By: Jeff Dutchak A quick biography Philip Larkin was born on August 9, 1922 in Coventry, a city in the English Midlands. After he finished his schooling he applied and was appointed to the position of Librarian in Wellington, Shropshire. He eventually went on to become Librarian at the University of Hull and stayed in this position for most of his life. He was also a bit of a ladies man, preferring to spend his time with a number of women like his secretary and fellow workers instead of committing himself to one lady and becoming married. He wrote many poems such as Toads Revisited and Dockery and Son. Poems he has Written He has written quite a few, among them are: Mr. Bleaney, An Arundel Tomb, Dockery and Son, Vers De Société, and Toads Revisited. Literary Criticism to An Arundel Tomb I don't dislike this poem but I just think, like many of Larkin's poems, it’s so morbid and depressing, it monotonously goes on and on. I think it gives a reference of time by its description of the two sculptures being slowly worn away. Maisy from United Kingdom My Response to the Criticism I disagree with the statement that all of his poems are depressing, I have read a few of Larkin’s works and have found them not depressing, but calming. Each one is unique. The Second picture that was shown in the presentation was Arundel Tomb. It is a sculpture of what appears to be a man and his wife together even after death. In the last stanza of the poem “Our almost-instinct almost true: What will survive of us is love.” defines the symbolism behind the tomb. Sure, the sculpture itself was a masterpiece but it was more then that, it was a testament to two hearts refusing to be parted even through their greatest trial, death. Larkin’s poem is a masterpiece that transforms stone into words. What I find “intellectually challenging and aesthetically appealing” about Larkin’s poems I find his poetry to constantly try to open your eyes to what people; in general are really like. Whether its explaining human emotion like love in An Arundel Tomb or how the older we get the more we want company in Vers De Société there is always a message that you can find; a treasure to be found, if your just willing to look. My attempt at a poem How does my poem imitate Larkin’s? I chose one theme (in this case life) and I chose to mask over the actual meaning with the construction of a house. When the plans were conceived it was the same as a child being conceived. The storm represented the trials of life, the more you face them the better you become at handling them, and the weathered old house being torn down was an old man dying and leaving behind memories. So was Philip Larkin a poetic genius? Yes, Philip Larkin was a poetic genius. His poems get to the very core of the human heart, if you are able to listen and understand what they mean then everything becomes clear, his poems may have seemed dreary, but for certain parts, so are our lives. It is too bad that he is no longer around to write more of his philosophical and insightful poems. Bibliography Retrieved December 13, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Larkin* Larkin, P. (1956). An Arundel Tomb. Retrieved December 13, 2006 from the World Wide Web: http://www.poetryconnection.net/poets/Philip_Larkin/4760** *Wikipedia is a website were anyone from around the world can edit the information at any time, I was unable to find the name of the author, the date the article was submitted, where it was published, or who it was published by. **Once again the place of publication and the publisher’s name escaped me.