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December 2001

Nomination: Wedding-Wind [26 September 1946. From XX Poems and The Less Deceived]

I have always been a keen reader (and occasional writer) of poetry. I first came across Larkin when studying for English A level many years ago. Subsequently I maintained an interest, and more recently bought the collected poems, where I first read ‘Wedding Wind’. I like this poem because it is unusually joyful for Larkin, particularly the closing lines – ‘these new delighted lakes…’.

I hope I may have the opportunity to read this at at least one of my three daughters’ weddings eventually. I was recently reminded of this poem by Madonna’s ‘Don’t Tell Me’, which has the lines:

Tell the bed not to lay
Like the open mouth of a grave, yeah
Not to stare up at me
Like a calf down on its knees

Not the same meaning at all, but somehow the same images, and it drew me back to re-read much of Larkin and also to read his biography.

I believe that Larkin has been a much maligned and under appreciated writer. I would love to pursue his work in a more scholarly way, but for now, reading some poems before bedtime is a great pleasure.

David Parsons

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