This week: Philip LarkinEdited by: Stormy Lady
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This is poetry from the minds and the hearts of poets on Writing.Com. The poems I am going to be exposing throughout this newsletter are ones that I have found to be, very visual, mood setting and uniquely done. Stormy Lady
Love Songs In Age
by Philip Larkin
She kept her songs, they kept so little space,
The covers pleased her:
One bleached from lying in a sunny place,
One marked in circles by a vase of water,
One mended, when a tidy fit had seized her,
And coloured, by her daughter -
So they had waited, till, in widowhood
She found them, looking for something else, and stood
Relearning how each frank submissive chord
Had ushered in
Word after sprawling hyphenated word,
And the unfailing sense of being young
Spread out like a spring-woken tree, wherein
That hidden freshness sung,
That certainty of time laid up in store
As when she played them first. But, even more,
The glare of that much-mentionned brilliance, love,
Broke out, to show
Its bright incipience sailing above,
Still promising to solve, and satisfy,
And set unchangeably in order. So
To pile them back, to cry,
Was hard, without lamely admitting how
It had not done so then, and could not now.
On August 9, 1922, in Radford, England, Sydney Larkin and his wife Eva Emily Day welcomed their second child Philip Larkin into their family. Philip was ten years younger than his older sister. His father was a Coventry City Treasure. Larkin’s mother was more about herself than being a mother. Larkin’s family moved to a large house near Coventry Railway Station when he was five. Larkin’s mother never had visitors, so Larkin had a very secluded childhood at home. At eight Larkin started King Henry VIII Junior School. Then he went to King Henry VIII Senior School. Larkin contributed to the school newspaper despite his low grades and low test scores.
Even with his lower scores Larkin began studying at St John's College, Oxford in 1940. His poor eye site kept him joining the war, which in turn allowed Larkin complete his studies. In his first year of college Larkin published ‘Ultimatum’ in the November 28, 1940, issue of Listener. While in college he met future novelist and poet, Kingsley Amis and John Wain. The three formed a group called ‘The Seven,’ they met regularly, discussing poetry, drinking and played jazz together. 1943, three of Larkin’s poems, ‘A Stone Church Damaged by a Bomb’, ‘Mythological Introduction’, and ‘I dreamed of an out-thrust arm of land’, were published in Oxford Poetry. Larkin went on to graduate with honors in English.
In 1943, he began his career as a librarian at Wellington, Shropshire. While Larkin worked as a librarian he continued writing. In 1945, ten of his poems appeared in ‘Poetry from Oxford in Wartime’. Later that year, those ten poems were published in his first book ‘The North Ship’. In 1946, his first novel, ‘Jill’, was published. That following year he published his last novel ‘A Girl in Winter’. In June 1950, he was appointed sub-librarian at The Queen's University of Belfast. Though Larkin continued writing and submitting his work for publication he was faced with many rejections. In 1954, the Fantasy Press published a pamphlet containing five of his poems. In October 1955, his second collection of poems, ‘The Less Deceived’ was published by the Marvel Press.
Larkin went on to be a librarian at University of Hull. During his time as a librarian he wrote The Whitsun Weddings’, published in 1964. Larkin spent a lot of time building the library at University of Hull. His was credited for increasing the libraries books and budget substantially. In 1965, Philip Larkin was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. In 1974 he published ‘High Windows’, which contained some of his most famous poems such as ‘High Windows’ and ‘This Be The Verse’.
Larkin never married. He lived in a small apartment on the top of a three storied house. In early 1985, Philip Larkin was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He underwent a surgery on June 11, 1985, but his cancer had spread and become inoperable. On November 28, 1985 Larkin collapsed and was remitted to the hospital. Philip Larkin spent his last few days in a hospital bed and died on December 2, 1985 at the age of 63. Larkin was buried at the Cottingham municipal cemetery near Hull, with a white headstone that reads "Philip Larkin 1922–1985 Writer".
by Philip Larkin
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
Thank you all!
The winner of "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [ASR] is:
dreams dancing ‘round
now gone astray
dripping from figure tips
New Years resolution
Bah Hum Bug
No laughter to be heard
As I walk my path
Of shattered dreams
These are the rules:
1) You must use the words I give in a poem or prose with no limits on length.
2) The words can be in any order and anywhere throughout the poem and can be any form of the word.
3) All entries must be posted in your portfolio and you must post the link in this forum, "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [ASR] by January 26, 2018.
4) The winner will get 3000 gift points and the poem will be displayed in this section of the newsletter the next time it is my turn to post (January 31, 2018)
The words are:
poets swirling words fury written flowing dries ink
Good luck to all
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