Words in Pictures: Philip Larkin

The poet talks about his work to John Betjeman.


In this week's magazine, Anthony Thwaite celebrates the legacy of Philip Larkin, twenty-five years after his death.

"In the 21st century, many literary reputations have retreated into the fortress of academe," writes Thwaite. "But Larkin sees to have satisfied two constituencies - he is studied in schools and universities, and he is read by a much wider public."

This video clip, taken from a 1964 BBC film in which the popular poet John Betjeman spent the day with Larkin, the two men sit talking in an overgrown Hull cemetery, discussing notions of life and death.

Larkin says: "I find that when I come here on a wet Sunday afternoon in December . . . when it isn't at all romantic, it gets me into perspective, it gets my worries into perspective, and everything I write I think has the consciousness of approaching death in the background."

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SRSLY #83: The Awards Special 2017

On the pop culture podcast this week: all the action from the Oscars, plus our own personal awards.

This is SRSLY, the pop culture podcast from the New Statesman. Here, you can find links to all the things we talk about in the show as well as a bit more detail about who we are and where else you can find us online.

Listen using the player below. . .

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SRSLY is hosted by Caroline Crampton and Anna Leszkiewicz, the NS’s assistant editor and editorial assistant. We’re on Twitter as @c_crampton and @annaleszkie, where between us we post a heady mixture of Serious Journalism, excellent gifs and regularly ask questions J K Rowling needs to answer.

The Links

Get on the waiting list for our Harry Potter quiz here and take part in our survey here.

Anna's report on the Oscars.

Our episodes about Oscar-nominated films La La Land, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Lion and Jackie.

For next time:

Caroline is watching MTV’s Sweet/Vicious.

If you’d like to talk to us about the podcast or make a suggestion for something we should read or cover, you can email srslypod[at]gmail.com.

You can also find us on Twitter @srslypod, or send us your thoughts on tumblr here. If you like the podcast, we’d love you to leave a review on iTunes - this helps other people come across it.

We love reading out your emails. If you have thoughts you want to share on anything we’ve discussed, or questions you want to ask us, please email us on srslypod[at]gmail.com, or @ us on Twitter @srslypod, or get in touch via tumblr here. We also have Facebook now.

Our theme music is “Guatemala - Panama March” (by Heftone Banjo Orchestra), licensed under Creative Commons. 

See you next week!

PS If you missed #81, check it out here.