April 26, 2012

newyorker:

Philip Larkin, Read Out Loud at Cooper Union

The greatest offense is usually simply that of reading the poem as though it were a poem, in a boomingly uniform incantation that obscures nuance and texture. Fortunately, there were few such performances on display on Tuesday night at the Cooper Union’s Great Hall, where the Poetry Society of America had organized a tribute to Philip Larkin, England’s greatest post-Second World War poet, to coincide with the publication of “Complete Poems,” a clear improvement on the earlier editions, which includes each of Larkin’s collections in their original order, along with a section of uncollected and previously unpublished work, and a staggeringly thorough commentary. Like the clientele of a hyper-exclusive café, the evening’s readers—James Fenton, Saskia Hamilton, Mary Karr, Nick Laird, Katha Pollitt, Paul Simon, and Zadie Smith among them—sat in threes around small tables up on stage and took turns approaching the lectern to read a Larkin poem of choice.

- Giles Harvey writes about the Philip Larkin tribute Tuesday night at Cooper Union. Above, listen to Andrew Sullivan’s reading of “The Whitsun Weddings”: http://nyr.kr/Ibzb5y
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    For anyone still interested in Larkin!
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    i always forget how much a poem changes when it’s read out loud. that’s real purdy. SPOILER ALERT because this is the...
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    Philip Larkin: Collected Poems available in paperback from Copia now.
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