Philip Larkin, an eminent writer in postwar England, was a national favourite poet who was commonly referred to as “England’s other Poet Laureate” until his death in 1985. Poetry Foundation
Poetry that won’t disappoint
By Poetry columnist, Gill Ward
I am reading about Philp Larkin at the moment. Having owned and read Letters To Monica and also Andrew Motion’s Biography of Larkin, I have been rereading Larkin’s Collected Poems edited and introduced by Anthony Thwaite, which reawakened my interest in this complex man.
Consequently I bought James Booth’s book Philip Larkin Life, Art and Love. (Bloomsbury2014) This book links Larkin’s poems into the context of his life. It is fascinating reading and I am reading it in conjunction with Larkin’s poems.
The collection volume being a sort of poet’s companion as I read it along with the biography. Check out the library for Larkin and remember with the library smart-card books are able to be borrowed from several other regional libraries. His poetry is unlikely to disappoint you!
If Hands Could Free You, Heart
If hands could free you, heart,
Where would you fly?
Far, beyond every part
Of earth this running sky
Makes desolate? Would you cross
City and hill and sea,
If hands could set you free?
I would not lift the latch;
For I could run
Through fields, pit-valleys, catch
All beauty under the sun—
Still end in loss:
I should find no bent arm, no bed
To rest my head.