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(CHRISTOPHER BARKER)
(CHRISTOPHER BARKER)

Take a walk (or tour) on the wild (or mild) side of Philip Larkin Add to ...

Sandwiched between BINGO and SPORT in The Coventry Telegraph, cybersurfers will discover a wee NEWS item dedicated to an important guide's official launch at King Henry VIII School late last month, an official guide "produced inviting people to take a tour of the buildings, streets and locations" that Coventry poet Philip Larkin frequented during the twenties and thirties, those "places that were important to the genius wordsmith as he grew up in the city."



"Despite the wartime destruction and redevelopment, enough of the Coventry that Larkin knew still remains . . . and includes his birthplace in Poultney Road, Radford, the site of his favourite music shop in Hertford Street and the Golden Cross Inn where he often ogled the barmaid."



(Uh-oh. That would've sunk his Oxford Poetry Professorship's chances for sure, eh? Pas de sweat. He wouldn't have wanted the plum anyway. After all, he did famously turn down the UK Poet-Laureate position when it was handed to him on a 10-foot silver platter, n'est-ce pas?)



Peter Walters, from CV One -- who helped organise this handy-dandy guide -- said: "We inducted Philip Larkin into [Coventry's] Walk of Fame earlier this month; and, this is another opportunity to celebrate one of this country's greatest literary figures."



BTW, said guide, "Philip Larkin's Coventry," free at tourist-information kiosks, libraries and education centres, may well contain a sample from the first prose piece penned by one of the twentieth century's greatest poets during his very green salad days; but, it's fairly safe to assume it won't provide interested parties with an excerpt from "This Be the Verse," that wonderful set of lines which recently featured prominently in a protracted custody battle a short month ago in London, the one, IOW, "IOW" regulars will, no doubt, EVER forget.



(No kidding.)

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