LONDON (Reuters) - Philip Larkin is to be honored with a memorial stone in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, to be laid alongside those of some of the most revered names in English language poetry like TS Eliot and William Wordsworth.
The announcement was made by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall who said the stone will be inaugurated on Dec 2 to commemorate the 31st anniversary of Larkin’s death in 1985.
“Philip Larkin will be memorialized very near Geoffrey Chaucer finding a fitting place among his fellow poets,” Hall said in a statement. “I have no doubt that his work and memory will live on as long as the English language continues to be understood.”
Born in Coventry in 1922, Larkin worked for 30 years as a librarian at the University of Hull, during which time he produced some of his best-loved poems like “The Whitsun Weddings.”
His standing was undermined after his death when in 1992 a selection of his letters was published which led to accusations that he was a racist and a misogynist.
“The memorialization of Philip Larkin in Poets’ Corner will be warmly welcomed by his many admirers in all walks of life,” said Professor Edwin Dawes, Chairman of the Philip Larkin Society.
Reporting by Antonio Sorgi; editing by Stephen Addison