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December 2009

Nomination: Here [8 October 1961. From The Whitsun Weddings]

Being an exile from Hull of more than forty years this poem has had many resonances for me over that time since I headed South in ’68. I had very little knowledge of Larkin or his work while a student at the Art College although this big bloke was once pointed out to me at a College Ball as being the Librarian at Hull Uni and a poet. Well poets then, as far as I was concerned, were called Henri, McGough and Patten and came from Liverpool with Spike Milligan adding a bit of weird hilarity from elsewhere. Having discovered this poem through a friend’s girlfriend who knew Ted Tarling, a friend of PL and having actually read it many times while travelling its journey it will forever remind me of returning to my hometown:

‘That chip shop fifty miles up a railway siding where they so tight they only undercoat their telephone boxes!’

as it was once described by an acquaintance who, as I remember originated from somewhere called Doncaster!

Ken Starkey

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