Read Philip Larkin: Poems selected by Martin Amis by Philip Larkin Online


For the first time, Faber publish a selection from the poetry of Philip Larkin. Drawing on Larkin's four collections and on his uncollected poems. Chosen by Martin Amis.'Many poets make us smile; how many poets make us laugh - or, in that curious phrase, "laugh out loud" (as if there's another way of doing it)? Who else uses an essentially conversational idiom to achieve sFor the first time, Faber publish a selection from the poetry of Philip Larkin. Drawing on Larkin's four collections and on his uncollected poems. Chosen by Martin Amis.'Many poets make us smile; how many poets make us laugh - or, in that curious phrase, "laugh out loud" (as if there's another way of doing it)? Who else uses an essentially conversational idiom to achieve such a variety of emotional effects? Who else takes us, and takes us so often, from sunlit levity to mellifluous gloom?... Larkin, often, is more than memorable: he is instantly unforgettable.' - Martin Amis...

Title : Philip Larkin: Poems selected by Martin Amis
Author :
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ISBN : 9780571258116
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Philip Larkin: Poems selected by Martin Amis Reviews

  • Sarah
    2019-01-31 19:30

    Reading Larkin can be outright heavy and intense but it is so so good!His approach to themes like death, religion, obligation, and love is quite spot on! These themes have been explored hundreds and hundreds of times by other poets, but he brings something new the table. He speaks to the reader in a rather honest, straightforward way― where there is no place for sugarcoating anything.I really enjoyed reading this collection, it got boring at some parts, but all in all is a great read.Here's a sneak peak:The Trees The trees are coming into leafLike something almost being said;The recent buds relax and spread,Their greenness is a kind of grief. Is it that they are born againAnd we grow old? No, they die too.Their yearly trick of looking newIs written down in rings of grain.Yet still the unresting castles threshIn fullgrown thickness every May.Last year is dead, they seem to say,Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.Forget What Did Stopping the diaryWas a stun to memory,Was a blank starting,One no longer cicatrisedBy such words, such actionsAs bleakened waking.I wanted them over,Hurried to burial And looked back onLike the wars and wintersMissing behind the windowsOf an opaque childhood.And the empty pages?Should they ever be filledLet it be with observed come,And when the birds go.Love The difficult part of love Is being selfish enough, Is having the blind persistence To upset an existence Just for your own sake. What cheek it must take. And then the unselfish side – How can you be satisfied, Putting someone else first So that you come off worst? My life is for me. As well ignore gravity. Still, vicious or virtuous, Love suits most of us. Only the bleeder found Selfish this wrong way round Is ever wholly rebuffed, And he can get stuffed.This Be The Verse They fuck you up, your mum and dad.They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-sternAnd half at one another’s throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, And don’t have any kids yourself.Aubade I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dreadOf dying, and being dead,Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climbClear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever,The sure extinction that we travel toAnd shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere,And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.This is a special way of being afraidNo trick dispels. Religion used to try,That vast moth-eaten musical brocadeCreated to pretend we never die,And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeingThat this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with,The anaesthetic from which none come round.And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages outIn furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good:It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave.Death is no different whined at than withstood.Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaringIntricate rented world begins to rouse.The sky is white as clay, with no sun.Work has to be done.Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

  • Joseph
    2019-01-25 18:43

    I came across Philip Larkin in 1973 in of all places the Cleveland Public School System. I was lucky enough to have Ms Pesek as my teacher. She was rather cutting-edge in a system that was mediocre at best. It was in her class I read so many above my grade level books she provided, some probably not appropriate for the typical fourth grader. Not bad books but very good books like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, a novel written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. One day she read us a poem about a man visiting a church who removed his cycling clips before entering the building. It was odd because the church was no longer in regular use. The man considers the visit a waste of time. That was pretty powerful stuff for a young Catholic. For some reason about a year ago, that memory came back to me. I searched the internet using the keywords from my memory and found the poem "Church Going" by Philip Larkin.I looked for a collection at my library and went away empty handed. I ended up buying this collection selected by Martin Amis who also writes the introduction. I haven't read all of Larkin's poems, so I can't really comment on the selection, but I have read Amis and liked his writing. Amis knew Larkin and that adds a personal experience rather than just a stock biography. Larkin was friends with Kingsley Amis, Martin's father. Larkin seems to look and sounds much like a person happy to live in a dystopia. Anything more lively would seem to crack his shell. Even when reading his poems, he has that dry, humorless, voice that captures his words so well. This is by no means saying his writing is bad but different. From my interpretation, he is to poetry what cyberpunk is to science fiction. The darker, more desperate side of poetry. Where there is joy, it is quickly countered. In "Trees" a budding leaf, to most a sign of spring, is a green kind of grief. The leaves are born knowing they will never grow old. It's a yearly trick of the tree to look new. In "High Windows," an old man looks down on the youth in the street and imagines their paradise in a time of "the pill" and the diaphragm and the long downward slide they are heading on. Then he wonders if years ago people said the same of him when he turned his back on religion. Larkin is also critical of money. He refers to salaried employees as "toads." "Homage to a Government," tells of bringing all the soldiers back home from there far off outposts and leaving the places they guarded for the lack of money. They are in far off places. Who really cares about them? Nothing will change at home. The statues will remain standing and the children will not know the difference. However, "All we can hope to leave them now is money. The poem "Money" closes with:I listen to money singing. It's like looking downFrom long french windows at a provincial town,The slums, the canal, the churches ornate and madIn the evening sun. It is intensely sad. Larkin has the unique ability to use rhyme and meter in his work and still have it sound conversational. His writing is familiar too. He writes as a person who prefers to be isolated and alone he relates to those of us who tend to be a bit introverted and maybe a bit cynical too. This may not be the typical English pastoral poetry one reads in high school or in English Literature classes, but it is important, nonetheless. For those interested in reading Larkin, spend some time listening to him read his poems. I have found several online and listening to him read his own words gives a deeper feel to the poems and allows the reader to follow the pattern of his writing.

  • Tyler Jones
    2019-02-04 19:24

    I usually skip introductions and let the text speak for itself but the introduction by Martin Amis is very illuminating. High marks also to Amis for including a previously unpublished poem which, in the light of what he writes in his introduction, goes off like a bomb.I have read this book cover to cover many times over the past few months and find the poems stand up to scrutiny, which flies in the face of the supposed simple nature of Larkin's work. Although, to be fair, it could be that I'm so simple that it takes me many readings to get what smarter folk understand on the first go round.Shatteringly good stuff.Postscript:I finished this book a year ago today, as it turns out. In the last twelve months I have turned to these poems many times and found my enjoyment in them growing with each reading. I remember I was in Banff, selling books for the annual WordFest book festival, while I first read this book and I will always connect the book with that place. I was at WordFest in Banff again this year and who should be the headlining but Martin Amis? I found myself standing at a desk with the illustrious man of letters, holding open copy after copy of his latest novel for him to sign. When the silence grew uncomfortable (for me at least) I tried to tell him how much I loved the Larkin book. What came out of my mouth, however, was kind of a lame rambling: "I just want to say how much I enjoyed the Larking collection you put together, I've read it more times than any other book of poetry in my life." Gawd. What a idiot. Amis looked up at me completely expressionless. "That's nice," he said and went back to signing.

  • ZaRi
    2019-02-16 15:42

    Side by side, their faces blurred, The earl and countess lie in stone, Their proper habits vaguely shown As jointed armour, stiffened pleat, And that faint hint of the absurd— The little dogs under their feet.Such plainness of the pre-baroque Hardly involves the eye, untilIt meets his left-hand gauntlet, still Clasped empty in the other; and One sees, with a sharp tender shock, His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.They would not think to lie so long. Such faithfulness in effigyWas just a detail friends would see:A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace Thrown off in helping to prolong The Latin names around the base.They would not guess how early inTheir supine stationary voyageThe air would change to soundless damage, Turn the old tenantry away;How soon succeeding eyes beginTo look, not read. Rigidly theyPersisted, linked, through lengths and breadths Of time. Snow fell, undated. LightEach summer thronged the glass. A bright Litter of birdcalls strewed the sameBone-riddled ground. And up the paths The endless altered people came,Washing at their identity. Now, helpless in the hollow of An unarmorial age, a troughOf smoke in slow suspended skeins Above their scrap of history, Only an attitude remains:Time has transfigured them into Untruth. The stone fidelityThey hardly meant has come to be Their final blazon, and to prove Our almost-instinct almost true: What will survive of us is love.

  • Bob Simon
    2019-01-31 14:21

    This is an excellent pick of Larkin poems. His later poems were weaker, but the middle ones magnificent....especially those on death. No one did it like Larkin. He was a close friend of Martin Amis' father, Kingsley (Lucky Jim) when they were at Oxford. Martin Amis just the person to select Larkin's poems.

  • Cooper Renner
    2019-02-16 13:49

    Short and "mid-length" lyric poetry, eminently contemporary, sly, funny, sharp, depressed, smart. His subjects are often the same as his American contemporaries, but Larkin does in musical verse what they do in tedious "plain speech".

  • Ruth Moore
    2019-02-06 16:30

    This was my first blast of Larkin in years. I've lost track of whether it's acceptable to love him. I do - the quieter, bleaker poems especially.

  • Phil
    2019-02-05 15:46

    A comprehensive yet career-spanning collection - the introduction by Matin Amis is a welcome addition for newcomers and Larkin fans alike.

  • Terence Manleigh
    2019-02-05 15:21

    A wonderfully clever, disarmingly sour, decidedly accessible poet.

  • Ant
    2019-02-06 14:40

    I really like some of them, but wading through the rest to get there can be a chore.I much prefer A.E Housman - something for every mood and every stage of life.

  • Seth
    2019-02-11 20:39