Publicity-Shy Librarian aka “The Poet of Dirty Words”

A revised edition of Philip Larkin’s “Collected Poems” has been released, showcasing the cantankerous, misanthropic side of the poet-librarian. Dismissed as a confessionary crank as little as a decade ago, Larkin’s life has become sort of a cottage industry and subject of intense voyeuristic interest. “By the time of his death, Larkin, a grumpy, publicity-shy librarian, had become an unlikely celebrity, a rabbity symbol for his readers’ accumulated regrets, calling his own childhood a forgotten boredom.'” More here from Slate.

Those of you who are adamantly child-free will appreciate the poem, “This Be the Verse,” the last stanza of which reads:

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can
And don’t have any kids yourself.