Larkin's 'Suppressed Betjeman Period'

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Philip Larkin made no secret of his enthusiasm for the poetry of John Betjeman, but the extent to which his own early verse was influenced by Betjeman has not been fully acknowledged. This essay outlines Larkin's early debt to Betjeman, focusing in particular on his Brunette Coleman writings (especially the poems collected as 'Sugar and Spice') and two celebrated poems collected in 'The Less Deceived': 'At Grass' and 'Church Going'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-111
Number of pages20
JournalEssays in Criticism
Issue number1
Early online date19 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 19 Mar 2024


  • Larkin
  • Betjeman
  • poetry
  • Brunette Coleman
  • Willow Gables


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