Collected Poems

Philip Larkin; Edited and with an Introduction by Anthony Thwaite

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

240 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
One of the best-known, best-loved poets of the English-speaking world, Larkin had a relatively small number of poems published during his lifetime. Collected Poems brings together not only all of Larkin's books of verse—The North Ship (1945), The Less Deceived (1955), The Whitsun Weddings (1964), and High Windows (1974)—but also uncollected poems dating in composition from 1940 through 1984.

This new editon reflects Larkin's own ordering for his poems and is the first to present the body of his work with the organization he preferred. The book is therefore an authoritative compendium and an indispensable contribution to the legacy of an icon of twentieth-century verse. As we can see throughout, Larkin was a dour yet brilliant soul whose poems remain fresh in their expression of the ageless conflict between the traditional and the modern.


Praise for Collected Poems

"[This edition], holding the four slim collections as [Larkin himself] fine-tuned them, should take priority on the poetry lover's shelf."—John Updike, The New Yorker

"More than any other English poet since the war, Larkin gave us lines that it is unlikely we'll be able to forget."—Ian Hamilton, The Times (London)

"Larkin is resolute, forthright, witty, and gloomy. This is the man who famously said that deprivation was for him what daffodils were for Wordsworth. Yet surely the results of this life, in the shape of his poems, are gifts, not deprivations."—Donald Hall, The New Criterion

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Philip Larkin (1922-1985) grew up in Coventry, England. In 1955 he became librarian of the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull, a post he held until his death. He was the recipient of innumerable honors, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
Read the full excerpt


  • Philip Larkin; Edited and with an Introduction by Anthony Thwaite

  • Philip Larkin (1922-85) is considered one of the finest British poets of the modern age. He was employed from the mid-1940s onward as a university librarian, publishing poems only occasionally (as well as two novels, Jill and A Girl in Winter). The recipient of many literary awards, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, Larkin also wrote reviews and critical essays, mainly about poetry or jazz. In the fall of 1984, a year before his death, he was offered the Poet Laureateship but turned it down.