The Librarian


He sniffed at Miles Davis in his Pompous English way

but doffed his treasured cap to the tunes of Sid Bechet,

who himself was not a stranger to the pulling of a trigger,

though to one as mean as he was he'd have been a lowly “Nigger”


From High windows he could survey other lesser forms of life,

those toads and grubby proles mired in their strife.

In his literary palace alphabetically displayed

he would charge his poisoned chalice with words so cruelly made.


◄ Manuscript

Ride On ►


Profile image

Wolfgar Miere

Sat 20th Apr 2019 17:13

Good afternoon folks, thank you all for dropping by reading and leaving comments and/or flowers..much appreciated.

I didn't state my personal opinion of Larkin in the written piece as I didn't wish to provoke any agreement or contrary stance at that point.

I am a great admirer of Philip Larkins writing irrespective of his flaws, I think his flaws however repellent to some do in fact make him a far more interesting and broad character for our observations.

It has been recorded through history how some of the most despicable artists have created things of great beauty, also how some truly anti-social people have formulated ideas which greatly benefited mankind, with this in mind I have always personally endeavoured to separate the artist and their creations from their personal failings. I think there is too much to be lost by reacting dismissively to art and ideas due to factors not influencing value.

I am also aware that everything I know about Larkin is at best second hand and that he is not able to defend or account for his character and our interpretation of it. I suspect that a man like Larkin would feel no requirement whatsover to justify his attitudes and beliefs, in a way I admire that about him. I think had I met him (although I can't imagine under what circumstances other than drinking that might have occurred) I still would have liked him and been interested in his attitudes and learned something from him.

I think that his aloofness was something to do with class in that traditional English way, not particularly pleasant at all.

Ray, your point about social parameters in music is a valid one. Someone like Miles Davis would I think have been far too free spirited and unrestrained for Larkins taste.

Anyway thanks folks I enjoyed the feedback.


Just out of interest a google search using the search terms "English librarian poet" throws up Philip Larkin top of the list.

Profile image


Sat 20th Apr 2019 16:03

Sorry for the delay. Could be early onset I suppose. All the clues are here and the comments highlight the obvious person in question. I think with Larkin you get the rough with the smooth. One without the other though would be a much reduced catalogue in terms of quality. Imagine if we were to repackage the things we admire and make puppets of them.
ON a serious note. to non musicians the magic of performing on instruments seems to deeply influence those who can't. Larkin mentions his admiration in several of his poems I noticed. The other thing is that New Orleans jazz tends (in my experience) to appeal more often to those in the comfortable social levels, perhaps by virtue of it being more light hearted and freer in constraints than other forms. This might allow a certain releasing of inhibitions while "modern" jazz is often more cerebral. Draw your own conclusions. All life is here in Farnham.


Profile image

Greg Freeman

Sat 20th Apr 2019 15:05

I am a fan of Larkin, despite his personal shortcomings, which included racism and Thatcherism among many other things. He wrote a wonderful poem about spring called 'The Trees'. Its last line is so simple and beautiful, like the trees themselves: "Begin afresh, afresh, afresh."

Profile image

kJ Walker

Sat 20th Apr 2019 07:34

They say that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But it seems that it's a free-for-all, if you live in an ivory tower.
Larkin, it would seem had utter contempt for the people who he deemed his inferiors. Yet the people of Hull have really taken him into their hearts.
I've tried reading some of his works, but find it hard to find his voice. (To be honest, I struggle with many of the poets who are deemed to be the literary greats)
I understood and enjoyed this piece (does that mean that you aren't among the literary greats - I think not)

Cheers Kevin

Profile image

Hazel ettridge

Fri 19th Apr 2019 21:16

Too cryptic for little old me.

jennifer Malden

Fri 19th Apr 2019 19:55

Initials J.B. by any chance? Jennifer

Profile image

Wolfgar Miere

Fri 19th Apr 2019 15:01

Thanks for checking in Hazel.

The subject is a very famous poet in English terms. Of questionable character but still much admired.

I have left a few clues in the text.

Thanks again,


Profile image

Hazel ettridge

Fri 19th Apr 2019 14:15

Hmmmm. Interesting caricature. Real person?

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message