OK technically I don’t know if it matters if a birthday is belated after you’re dead, but catching up on my daily writing mails from Writers’ Almanac today I saw that Philip Larkin’s would have been 9th August (he was born in 1922.)
I like the Writers’ Almanac because it’s just the right size for a daily writing bite. A poem, some facts on people who were born or died or other significant events on that day. Plus, if you listen to the podcast it’s read by Garrison Keillor who has a deep ground up voice with an edge of honey.
Anyway, back to Philip Larkin. I knew the name but it was only in the last couple of years in Yvonne Cullen’s writing classes I became familiar with his poetry. And I discovered I really liked it.
Reading about him online today he has shades of an early Morrissey about him when he talks about his poetry: “Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth” and he attributes the popularity of his work to the fact that most people are unhappy.
Maybe so, or maybe the times weren’t not effervescent with joy are the times we tend to dip into poetry. Either way, he seemed to find some inspiration on this side of the water and below is a link to his poem Dublinesque.
For the full experience sit down with a cup of tea, click on the podcast and let Garrison’s voice wrap you in a nice warm blanket of words as he tells you a bit more about Larkin’s life and Richard Nixon’s resgignation as well.