Nomination: The Old Fools [12 January 1973. From High Windows]
I can at present think of no poem which moves me so much as “The Old Fools”, though it is undeniably uncomfortable. I was introduced to Larkin’s poetry, as an undergraduate at UEA, by A.E.Dyson. The first poem we studied was “Lines On A Young Lady’s Photograph Album” and the effect was as of a powerful and immediate drug; this was what I had been looking for. Thirty six years later I am still under the spell of this most immaculate user of the English language. His words have informed and formulated much of my adult life. He would, I suspect, have found this wryly amusing.