Philip Larkin’s “Collected Poems”

Bleak, unrelenting, and full of wit, with a sense of irony that cuts to the bone, something that the Norse would have identified with while sitting around a fire telling stories of Ragnarok. In Larkin you get that deep Northern sadness in the voice of a fussy, overeducated, exquisitely miserable English fuddy-duddy.  To fall in love right away, open it up to “Livings,” or “Church Going” and read aloud.

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