Philip Larkin (2003 words)

Stephen Regan (University of Durham)
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In an early poem titled “I Remember, I Remember”, Philip Larkin imagines a train journey which returns him unexpectedly to his birth place in the English Midlands: “'Why, Coventry!' I exclaimed. 'I was born here.'” Comically echoing Thomas Hood”s Victorian poem of the same title, Larkin subtly deflates the familiar romantic childhood idylls associated with other writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Dylan Thomas. The poem ends glumly with an acceptance of the unremarkable and the undistinguished: “'Nothing, like something, happens anywhere'”. Looking out on a changing English landscape from the vantage point of a train window was to become a hallmark of Larkin's work, memorably repeated in poems such as “Here” and “The …

Citation: Regan, Stephen. "Philip Larkin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 November 2002 [, accessed 08 December 2022.]

2624 Philip Larkin 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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