34 Readers
17 Sages

shell pebble

The drivel of some bitch

High Windows (FF Classics) - Philip Larkin

Before I developed my own politics I loved Larkin, for his way with words and ability to tug the heartstrings with maudlin reflections. He's got some great lines. But I can't read him now; he looks down on people too much, he's too conventional, too conservative, too narrowly, comfortably English. Of course, most of the time he isn't comfortable, he's reflecting on time and death, its spectre at the back of everything, but that's quite facile, he just drops it in, cleverly, at the right moment to bring a lump to your unsuspecting throat. What I mean is, he's cosy in his values, even his conflicts are resolved by the emotion they reliably provoke. Since we all feel sad about death, it's made safe. I suppose that's why he's such a popular poet. He might be provocative, but there's nothing radical about him.