The complete poems of the most admired British poet of his generation This entirely new edition brings together all of Philip Larkin's poems. In addition to those that appear in Collected Poems (1988) and Early Poems and Juvenilia (2005), some unpublished pieces from Larkin's typescripts and workbooks are included, as well as verse--by turns scurrilous, satirical, affectionate, and sentimental--that had been tucked away in his letters. For the first time, Larkin's poems are given a comprehensive commentary. This draws critically upon, and substantially extends, the accumulated scholarship on Larkin, and covers closely relevant historical contexts, persons and places, allusions and echoes, and linguistic usage. Prominence is given to the poet's comments on his own work, which often outline the circumstances that gave rise to a poem or state that he was trying to achieve. Larkin often played down his literariness, but his poetry enrichingly alludes to and echoes the writings of many others. Archie Burnett's commentary establishes Larkin as a more complex and more literary poet than many readers have suspected.
: Philip Larkin
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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William Empson's poetry occupies a central place in 20th-century literature. Acclaimed as the brilliant author of Seven Types of Ambiguity, published when he was only 24, Empson has been applauded for the dazzling intelligence and emotional passion of his poems. T. S. Eliot praised the "brain power" and "intense feeling" of his poetry; F. R. Leavis hailed him as the first true successor to John Donne. Robert Lowell told Empson: "I think you are the most intelligent poet writing in our language and perhaps the best. I put you with Hardy and Graves and Auden and Philip Larkin". Empson's poems have a range of themes from metaphysics to melancholy, social climbing to political satire, love to loss. Above all, he was stimulated by the implications of modern science, which he called "the only fertile part of the contemporary mind". This volume brings together for the first time all the poems that Empson published in his lifetime and several more discovered since his death. Drawing on unpublished papers, interviews, readings, and broadcasts, John Haffenden's introduction and annotations identify manuscript sources, allusions, and intertexts. The volume also includes Empson's own notes, which he regarded as a vital complement to the poetry. Sir William Empson was educated at Winchester and Cambridge and taught at Tokyo University, Peking National University, and the University of Sheffield, where he was chair of English literature from 1952 until his retirement in 1971. He was knighted in 1979 and died in London in 1984.
: William Empson,John Haffenden
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