Following the death of Sir John Betjeman in 1984, he was offered, but refused, the role of Poet Laureate. Larkin worked as a librarian after graduating from Oxford in 1943 with a first in English language and literature. He rose to international fame as one of the leading poets of the mid-20th century. His poems are known for their precise observation of urban life, and his own personal struggle with depression.
Larkin died of bronchitis on 22 May 1978, age 54, in London. He is buried in Thame, Oxfordshire.
Larkin's work reflected the social changes taking place in Britain following World War II. His early poetry was influenced by Eliot and Pound, but later he developed his own style which drew upon his own experiences. Larkin is regarded as one of the major poets of the 20th century.
He is also noted for writing some of the most famous lines about city living: "Dullness leads to depression, depression to anxiety, / Anxiety to anger, anger to hate, / Hate to despair, and from there back to dullness again."
Larkin was appointed poet laureate in 1988, but he declined because he felt it would interfere with his job as a librarian at St. John's College, Cambridge. However, he did write two poems for the ceremony that year.
Philip Arthur Larkin, CH, CBE, FRSL was an English poet, writer, and librarian who lived from 9 August 1922 to 2 December 1985. The majority of his published work was created during the thirty years he served with distinction as a university librarian at the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull. He is best known today for his poetry, particularly his collection of poems titled "The Less Deceived", which in 1955 won him the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Larkin grew up in Coventry, the only child of Elizabeth (née Barclay) and Charles Edward Larkin. His father was an accountant who later became managing director of a small engineering company. When Phil was eight years old, the family moved to Hull where his father took over as manager of the library at the University of Hull. It was here that Larkin developed an interest in literature and especially poetry. He read widely across the genres, including modern American poets such as Robert Frost and Ezra Pound.
Larkin started writing poetry at the age of twenty-one while working in the library department of Hull College of Education. After three years there he went back to complete his degree at Christ's College, Cambridge. It was while he was a student at Cambridge that he first came into contact with many of the artists and writers who would later have an influence on his own work. These include John Betjeman, Louis MacNeice, and Robert Lowell.
Despite the controversy, Larkin was elected Britain's best-loved poet of the past 50 years in a 2003 Poetry Book Society poll, over two decades after his death, and in 2008, The Times ranked him Britain's finest post-war writer. He remains highly regarded in England, where he is considered one of the country's greatest poets.
Larkin was born on 31 August 1919 in St John's Wood, London, the only child of Elizabeth Haigh and Charles Larkin, who worked for the Ministry of Food. His father died when he was eight years old. After attending Westminster School, Larkin studied English at Oxford University, where he became involved with the Oxford Poets group. In 1941, while still an undergraduate, he published his first collection of poems, Seven Sonnets and A Ballad, which attracted critical praise from T. S. Eliot and other leading figures in British poetry.
After graduating in 1942, Larkin took a job as an assistant schoolmaster at Clifton College before joining the army the following year. He served in North Africa and Italy during World War II and was awarded the Military Medal for his actions on several occasions. Upon returning to England, he began writing more serious poetry, which drew upon his wartime experiences.
Ted Hughes is the Poet Laureate.
|Poet laureate||Birth and death||Dates of laureateship|
|Ted Hughes||1930–1998||28 December 1984 – 28 October 1998|
|Andrew Motion||1952–||19 May 1999 – May 2009|
|Carol Ann Duffy||1955–||1 May 2009 – May 2019|
|Simon Armitage||1963–||10 May 2019 – Incumbent|
December 20th, 1985 The poet laureate's formal title is "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry." On December 20, 1985, Congress passed legislation creating this title (Public Law 99-194). The job was designated "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress" from 1937 to December 20, 1985. Before that time, there had been a library assistant position called "poet-in-residence."
The poet laureate is selected by the Librarian of Congress. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, and cannot already be employed by the federal government. They can be current or former university professors or teachers, but not administrators or staff members. They also cannot be paid more than $15,000 per year. Applications are accepted from distinguished poets who have made an outstanding contribution to American poetry.
The selection process includes a public vote. Voters can choose any person who has submitted an application. The candidate needs 10% support in the vote to win election as poet laureate. If no one receives at least 10%, then the applicant with the highest number of votes will not become poet laureate.
In addition to their work for the Library of Congress, poet laureates give speeches and perform readings around the country. They receive a small salary ($25,000) and a room and board allowance while traveling.
Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress, Pinsky is best known for his collection of poems titled Night Songs. The book won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2001.
Pinsky's other books include Save the World Be Careful Who You Love (2000), which received the American Book Award; And Both Were Changed (2005); and most recently, What Are Thoughts? Stories on Thinking (2014). He has also written several novels including Death by Lightning (1996) and The Other Side of Darkness (1998). In addition, he has written a number of children's books including Mr. Bungle's Holidays (1995), which was awarded the Boston Book Award, and The Adventures of Abba Zabba (2001).
Pinsky has been praised for his ability to draw upon diverse sources for his poetry including science fiction, history, and popular culture. His work has drawn comparisons to that of John Donne, George Herbert, and Sylvia Plath.
He has served as poet laureate since 1993 when he was chosen by President Bill Clinton. Before this appointment, he had been consulting librarian at the Library of Congress since 1990. He continues in this role today.
After Ted Hughes's death in 1999, Duffy was almost chosen Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, but he was defeated by Andrew Motion. When Motion's 10-year term expired on May 1, 2009, she was named Poet Laureate.
Duffy has said that when she heard there was a post available, she knew she had to apply. "I read all the applications and then I wrote one myself," she told an interviewer. "It's just like being given a license to write poems."
The post is funded by the British government and lasts for two years. The salary is £150,000 ($220,000), which makes it one of the highest paid jobs in the UK. Before becoming poet laureate, Duffy worked as a school teacher and also served as director of poetry at London's Royal Academy of Arts.
She has published five collections of her own poetry and three books with children's writer Roald Dahl. She has also written several songs, one of which, "The First Snow of Winter", was adopted as a Christmas song in the UK.
Duffy has won many awards for her work, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the Geoffrey Fenton Prize. In 2008, she became only the second person to be awarded Britain's top prize in both poetry and prose the Nobel Prize for Literature.