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Philip Larkin entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
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Philip Larkin is now widely regarded as one of the leading English poets of the later twentieth century. His output was small and his chosen form is brief, tightly structured, rhyming and self-contained, using a demotic vocabulary of deceptive simplicity. Though he often expresses brief, exuberant joy, he also returns again and again to the prospect of personal death, and the general tone of his poems is downbeat. He also published two novels as well as volumes of his reviews (of jazz and books), and other occasional prose writings.
Milestones
9 August 1922 PL was born at 2 Poultney Road, Radford, near Coventry, the much younger of two children.  Bibliographic Citation link.
1933 PL was only eleven when he first reached print, with a contribution to his school magazine, The Coventrian, which Anthony Thwaite has called "an extraordinarily assured, facetious performance" Bibliographic Citation link. in his Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry on Larkin. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1984 Poetry Review carried PL's final poem to reach print, "Party Politics", an inconsequential two quatrains about the best way of ensuring your glass gets refilled at a drinks party. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 December 1985 PL died of cancer during those early hours of the morning which he had written that he hated and dreaded, at the Nuffield Hospital in Hull. Bibliographic Citation link.
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