Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Great Regulars: For [Philip] Larkin, the truly poetic

subjects were the passage of time and the inevitability of death. Almost all of his great poems deal with mortality, under a variety of disguises. The last poem in his first collection, "At Grass," considers retired race horses in a pasture: "Do memories plague their ears like flies?/They shake their heads. Dusk brims the shadows./Summer by summer all stole away,/The starting gates, the crowds and cries . . . ." "The Explosion," the last poem in his last book, concludes with the widows of miners killed in an accident, imagining their heavenly reunions with their husbands:

from Adam Kirsch: The Barnes and Noble Review: The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin


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