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When Philip Larkin's High Windows first appeared, Kingsley Amis spoke for a large and loyal readership when he wrote: 'Larkin's admirers need only be told that he is as good as ever here, if not slightly better.'
Like Betjeman and Hardy, Larkin is a poet who can move a large audience - without betraying the highest artistic standards.
The poems in High Windows illustrate Larkin's unrivalled ability to bring lyrical expression to ordinary, urban lives. It is a gift that makes him one of the most truly popular of the twentieth century's poets.
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Philip Larkin ponders ordinary lives in his poems: a Saturday show; travelling salesmen; young love. At the seaside "Everything crowds under the low horizon: / Steep beach, blue water, towels, read bathing caps, / The small hushed waves' repeated fresh collapse / Up the warm yellow sand". There's an almost Shakespearian obsession with ageing and passing time in the poems collected in High Windows. "What do they think has happened, the old fools, to make them like this?...Why aren't they screaming?" Larkin asks of the elderly. His answer: "Well, we shall find out." In the titular poem he watches young lovers and wonders "if anyone looked at me, forty years back, and thought, That'll be the life". But it's hard to see into the future or the past: you have to strain, as if looking through a high window, and even then you may only get a glimpse of light through the "sun-comprehending glass."
High Windows was first published in 1974 and some critics disliked Larkin's work for its lack of experiment and familiar subject matter. Yet even at its most traditional, Larkin's writing can be striking as, in "This Be The Verse", it encapsulates prosaic truths with plain language and gentle wit:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.--Tamsin Todd Book Description:
They may not mean to but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
Re-packaged in the much-loved Faber typographic look.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Faber and Faber Ltd. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 7639146
Book Description Faber and Faber, 1999. Soft cover. Condition: New. New & unopened part of the stock of a closing down Book Shop - slight darkening of text block - Guaranteed posting 24hrs from St Ives Sp5. Seller Inventory # 012151
Book Description Faber and Faber, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0571202756
Book Description Faber and Faber, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110571202756