Philip Larkin, 15cm




The sculpture was commissioned by the Philip Larkin Society and unveiled on 2nd December 2010, the 25th anniversary of the poet’s death. Larkin is depicted rushing out of the hotel behind him to catch a train, his hat in one hand and a manuscript in the other.

Inscribed in the floor underneath him is the first line from his celebrated poem The Whitsun Weddings “That Whitsun I was late getting away”. The final lines of the same poem are inscribed on a slate tablet mounted on the wall at Kings Cross station at the other end of the line.

While the statue itself expresses the slightly dishevelled librarian-poet, the slate elipse on which he stands suggests a shadow stretching out before him, alluding to the many poems in which he ponders human mortality.

A collection of circular slate inscriptions of quotations from Larkin’s poetry was installed in the floor of the station concourse a year after the statue’s unveiling.


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