Letter: What did Philip Larkin ever do for Wellington?
Letter: I met the miserable (Philip) Larkin in 1943 in the library. I have read his poetry and letters and met his fan club. I was one of the few who started Wellington Literary Festival. I am not a total ignoramus on the subject.
Letter: I met the miserable (Philip) Larkin in 1943 in the library. I have read his poetry and letters and met his fan club. I was one of the few who started Wellington Literary Festival, I organised a celebration of his poetry soon after he died and presented his picture to the library. I am not a total ignoramus on the subject.
Some of his poetry is good but he's not exactly one of the greats and it's mostly unhappy, pessimistic stuff about unhappy people like himself.
His description of Wellington as a "Hole of toad's turds", his suggestion that it should be bombed and that his job was to "Hand out tripey novels to morons" does not endear him to me or, surely to others who are happy to live in Wellington.
By all means honour his poetry if you like it but surely not him, in the town he so grossly insulted.
How many fans come and spend money in Wellington because of the connection? There are better people to name the new footpath after, including cheerful optimists who have done good things for our town.
It is unfortunate that a small group has persuaded the town councillors (most of whom, I suspect, have little idea who Larkin was) that he would be good for the tourist trade.
Let's hope the borough council will be wiser and not name the walkway after the most unhappy, miserable, unsociable fellow ever to pour scorn and insults on Wellington.
Let's leave the poor chap and pick a better name. Heather Duckett if you like or Geoff Marmion; I wouldn't oppose either.
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