Thursday, November 21, 2002

A "secret" poem written by Philip Larkin for his lover Betty Mackereth 26 years ago was finally published today in the latest issue of the Larkin Society newsletter, reports the UK Guardian:

"Larkin, who died in 1984, sent Ms Mackereth the poem during their affair in the mid-1970s. In her first public gesture since then, she says in a note in the newsletter, 'the poem accompanied a letter from Philip sent when spending a week at All Souls [College], Oxford, in February 1976'.

"She has apparently broken her silence to set the record straight after a Guardian report last month implied the first verse of the poem was doggerel and unlikely to be by Larkin. The verse was quoted when it was claimed to have been found in a notebook which vanished from the poet's former home in Hull, where he was university librarian."

Read the untitled poem on the Guardian website.

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