Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin was an English poet and novelist born in 1922. He is best known for his poetry collection The Whitsun Weddings, published in 1964. He is one of the most important modernist English poets. Read more of Philip Larkin’s Biography.

Some of Larkin’s most famous poems include This Be The Verse, Church Going, Aubade, MCMXIV, and The Mower.


‘Absences’ by Philip Larkin focuses on natural imagery. The poet uses them to define his speaker’s life and experiences.


‘Afternoons’ by Philip Larkin presents a brief depiction of post-war Britain. He explores less than ideal family relationships and gives the period an overall gloomy tone.


‘Age’ by Philip Larkin explores the universality relatable theme of aging. He presents readers with his speaker’s concerns about his legacy.


‘Ambulances’ by Philip Larkin presents readers with a thoughtful and concerning depiction of cities. He focuses on the presence of death and its inevitability.

An Arundel Tomb

‘An Arundel Tomb’ by Philip Larkin muses on themes of life, death, and the passage of time. The speaker alludes to the strength of love and how affecting a demonstration of it can be.

Arrivals, Departures

‘Arrivals, Departures’ by Philip Larkin depicts a narrator who is unable to resist the desire to travel. Whenever he’s faced with the choice to leave or stay, he always chooses the former.

At Grass

‘At Grass’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about fame and happiness. It focuses on racehorses and how they found new homes away from their previous lives.


‘Aubade’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about the unifying qualities of death and the human experience. There’s nothing Larkin’s speaker can do to make death less real.

Born Yesterday

‘Born Yesterday’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about happiness. It explores what true happiness is and how one young woman should look for it.

Church Going

‘Church Going’ by Philip Larkin is a thought-provoking poem about relgion and history. The speaker decides that no matter what churches represent, they should be perserved.


‘Coming’ by Philip Larkin is about spring and how emotional its arrival can be. The peace, joy, and promise of spring rub off on Larkin’s speaker in a wonderful way.


‘Days’ by Philip Larkin is a beautiful poem that contemplates life in the poet’s typical fashion. He asks the reader to consider “What are days for?”


‘Deceptions’ by Philip Larkin is a dark poem that tells a chilling tale. It focuses on the rape of a young woman and how she, and her attacker, were changed because of the event.


‘Dry-Point’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about sexuality. It uses the image of a bubble to depict the pinnacle of one’s sexual longing

Essential Beauty

‘Essential Beauty’ is one of the poems of Philip Larkin that deals with the gap between the advertising world and the real world.

Faith Healing

‘Faith Healing’ by Philip Larkin is a thoughtful poem that depicts a group of women and focuses on their emotional experiences.

First Sight

‘First Sight’ by Philip Larkin is a beautiful lyric poem about the natural world. It focuses on the fact that life is impermanent.


‘Going’ by Philip Larkin is a memorable poem about death. In it, he depicts death as a dark form that consumes everything.

High Windows

‘High Windows’ by Philip Larkin discusses the way that relationships, sex, and societal standards change from one generation to the next. 

Home is so Sad

‘Home is so Sad’ by Philip Larkin is a thoughtful poem about the importance of home. The poet explores what happens to a home when people leave it.

I Remember, I Remember

‘I Remember, I Remember’ by Philip Larkin contains a speaker’s thoughts about his home. He expresses what he thinks is an idealized childhood and how it doesn’t match up to it.

If, my darling

‘If, my darling’ by Philip Larkin explores the mind. The speaker presents an interesting picture of life from the outside and the inside.

Lines On A Young Lady’s Photograph Album

‘Lines On A Young Lady’s Photograph Album’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about memory and the past. The speaker relishes the access he has to his lover’s past when he looks through her photos with her.

Love Songs In Age

Philip Larkin explores the immense power in ‘Love Songs In Age,’ and how reality can never fulfill the potential they promise us.

Maiden Name

‘Maiden Name’ by Philip Larkin suggests certain beliefs about marriage and identity. In part, he suggests that a young woman has lost something when she changed her name.


‘MCMXIV’ by Philip Larkin is a war poem. It focuses on the important changes England faced after the end of World War II.


Philip Larkin’s poem, ‘Money,’ is a powerful critique of the consumerist culture inherent in modern society through the personification of money itself.


‘Myxomatosis’ by Philip Larkin is about a disease of the same name. It was introduced to the wild rabbit population in Britain in the mid-1900s.

Next, Please

In classic Philip Larkin style, ‘Next, Please’ is a bleak reflection on life. It explores death and asks the reader to focus on the present while they can.

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