Letter: I write in praise of Philip Larkin and Wellington librarians, past and present.
For 20 years I lived and worked in and around Wellington. The library was central to my life as a reader and as a teacher.
As I ploughed my way through Proust and Popper and Faulkner and Darwin, I picked up the story of Larkin's connections with my home town, and was thrilled to imagine the shade of him waiting by, as I dashed in to change my books on my way from work.
Somehow the spirit of Larkin enriched my feelings about being there and that memory is still with me after more than half a century.
Now, word has it that the local historian, George Evans, is tempted to wipe clean all record of Larkin's early verbal intemperance. How sad this is.
Larkin edited the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century Verse. It is a treasury of the nation's greatest literary art. The selection is rich, various and accessible and enjoyable to any general reader prepared to take the time.
The Oxford selection contains no fewer than eight poems by Housman, our own Shropshire Lad, and is overall a sensitive and beautifully balanced piece of editing. This is a true measure of Larkin the poet.
If name calling is the order of the day, I'd rather have Larkin Way be renamed and rededicated Philip Larkin Way.