Philip Larkin --> reviewed by N. S. Thompson -->

For a supposedly private man, Philip Larkin was punctilious about his public image, as a recent “Commentary” in the Times Literary Supplement (April 3, 2009) recalls: the cub reporter for the Times Educational Supplement sent to interview the barely known poet in 1956 found the shy librarian could be a demanding subject. He generously agreed to let Larkin vet the piece, which Larkin virtually rewrote. Such punctiliousness one can imagine of a poet so scrupulous and demanding of both himself and his work and it has given rise to the many myths about him that still abound. These were summed up by remarks later made in the TLS that the poet “has refused almost all invitations to judge, recite, review, lecture, pontificate, or to be...


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