First edition. Signed by the author. Single broadsheet measuring 28 x 38cm. Larkin's nine stanza poem is printed in black by John Roberts Press on Arnold Signature watermark paper. A fine copy.

Signed by Philip Larkin in black ink at the conclusion of the poem, as issued. In a letter to Judy Egerton dated 18 March, 1970, Larkin bemoaning his recent inability to write anything, notes that he "last wrote 'a poem' on Christmas morning,' and today learnt it will be 'Poem of the Month' for June or July: have you heard of this new racket? Five pounds a year, & you get a new unpublished signed poem by C. Day-Lewis, Roy Fuller, Stephen Spender, John Betjeman, Laurie Lee, & others including yours truly flopping onto your doormat each month better than having the authors themselves so flopping, anyway". The Poem of the Month Club was the brainchild of two men, Jack Clark and Winston Fletcher, chairman and managing director respectively of an advertising agency, who in turn appointed the Poet Laureate at the time, Cecil Day Lewis, and the poet Roy Fuller as advisors. Essentially a labour of love, the aim was, in Fuller's words, to issue previously unpublished "substantial and characteristic" examples of each of the chosen poets' work, with each instalment printed on fine-quality large folio sized paper, each sheet individually signed by the poet, the series available exclusively to subscribers. The plan was that a poem would be sent out every month, and in spite of a few inevitable delays and hiccups, when the two delayed final instalments of the concluding "Fourth Folio" were issued in 1977 (they were published in four annual sets of 12 designated First to Fourth Folios), the series had grown into a unique survey of contemporary British and Irish poetry of its time, the chosen poets spanning at least three generations (a nice example being Roy and John Fuller, father and son). Stevie Smith, who provided the first poem of the first folio, and W. H. Auden, who inaugurated the second series, were both dead within a year of their contributions, while Hugo Williams and Fleur Adcock, then among the younger contributors, are still writing today.

Stock code: 25036


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LARKIN, Philip


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