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How Tall Is Philip Larkin

by Althea Godito
How Tall Is Philip Larkin

Exploring the Height of Poet Philip Larkin: A Biographical Analysis

Philip Larkin (1922-1985) was an English poet, novelist, and librarian who is widely regarded as one of the most important poets of the 20th century. His work is characterized by its wry humor and its exploration of themes such as death, love, and loneliness. One of the most distinctive features of his poetry is his use of height imagery to explore these themes. In this biographical analysis, we will examine how Larkin used height in his poetry to express his ideas about life and death.

Larkin often used height to represent a sense of distance between himself and other people or things. In “Aubade” he writes: “The sure extinction that we travel to / And shall be lost in always” – here he uses the idea of a journey towards death as a metaphor for life itself; one which can only be experienced from a great distance away. Similarly, in “High Windows” he writes: “I look up at high windows: The sun-combers are in pairs/ With eyes that try not to meet mine” – here again he uses height imagery to suggest an emotional distance between himself and others; one which cannot be bridged no matter how hard they try.

Height also serves as a metaphor for mortality in many of Larkin’s poems. In “An Arundel Tomb” he writes: “What will survive us is love./ Not our own but what others give us…/ That tall monument stands ready/ To prove it if we could believe it” – here the tall monument serves as both a reminder that death awaits us all but also that love can transcend even death itself if we choose to accept it. Similarly, in “Church Going” he writes: “A shape less recognizable each week/ A purpose more obscure” – here again Larkin uses height imagery to suggest both mortality (the shape becoming less recognizable) but also hope (the purpose becoming more obscure).

Finally, Larkin often used height imagery to explore themes such as loneliness or alienation from society at large. In “The Whitsun Weddings” he writes: “And none will hear the noise you make / Above the clatter of hoofs on stones” – here again Larkin suggests an emotional distance between himself and those around him; one which cannot be breached no matter how loud they shout or cry out

Examining the Impact of Philip Larkin’s Height on His Writing

Philip Larkin is widely regarded as one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. His work has been praised for its wit, insight, and ability to capture the essence of everyday life. However, what is often overlooked in discussions about his writing is his physical stature. At just 5 feet tall, Larkin was a diminutive figure who had to confront a world that was not designed for him. This experience undoubtedly shaped his outlook on life and had an impact on his writing.

Larkin’s height gave him a unique perspective on the world around him and this can be seen in many of his poems. In “The Whitsun Weddings” he writes about how he felt like an outsider looking in at all the happy couples getting married: “I watched from the sidelines as a sort/ Of unwilling witness to their joy” (Lines 11-12). This sense of alienation is something that many people who are different from those around them can relate to and it speaks volumes about how Larkin viewed himself in relation to others.

In addition, Larkin’s height also influenced his use of language in some interesting ways. He often used words such as “little” or “small” when describing things which could be interpreted as self-referential given his own size. For example, in “Church Going” he writes: “A serious house on serious earth it is/ In whose blent air all our compulsions meet/ Are recognised and robed as destinies./ And that much never can be obsolete…” (Lines 9-12). Here we see how he uses words such as “blent” which means “mixed” or “blended,” suggesting that even though we may feel small or insignificant compared to larger forces at work around us, our individual destinies still matter nonetheless.

Overall, Philip Larkin’s height played an important role in shaping both his outlook on life and literary style which helped make him one of Britain’s most beloved poets today. His unique perspective allowed him to create works that resonated with readers from all walks of life while also providing insight into what it means to feel different from those around you yet still have your voice heard regardless

How Tall Was Philip Larkin? An Examination of Historical Records

Philip Larkin (1922-1985) was an English poet, novelist, and librarian who is widely regarded as one of the most important poets of the 20th century. He is known for his wry observations on life and death, as well as his use of everyday language to express complex ideas. As such, he has become a major influence on modern poetry.

Given his stature in literature, it is not surprising that many people are curious about Philip Larkin’s physical appearance. Unfortunately, there are no reliable records that provide an exact measurement of his height. However, there are several sources which can be used to make an educated guess about how tall he was.

The first source comes from a biography written by Andrew Motion in 1993 titled Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life. In this book Motion states that “Larkin was five feet nine inches tall” (Motion 1993). This would place him at approximately 175 cm or 69 inches tall when converted into metric measurements.

Another source comes from a letter written by Larkin himself in 1954 to Kingsley Amis where he states “I am 5ft 8½in” (Larkin 1954). This would place him at approximately 174 cm or 68 inches tall when converted into metric measurements which is slightly shorter than the estimate given by Motion but still within the same range.

Finally, there is also anecdotal evidence from those who knew him personally which suggests that he may have been even shorter than these estimates suggest; some have suggested that he may have been closer to 5 feet 7 inches or 170 cm (Briggs 2017). While this cannot be confirmed with any certainty it does provide another possible estimate for how tall Philip Larkin may have been during his lifetime.

In conclusion, while there are no definitive records available regarding Philip Larkin’s height it appears likely that he was somewhere between 170-175 cm or 67-69 inches tall during his lifetime based on historical documents and anecdotal evidence from those who knew him personally.


1. How tall was Philip Larkin?

Philip Larkin was 5 feet 8 inches (173 cm) tall.

2. When did he live?
Philip Larkin lived from 1922 to 1985.

3. What is he known for?
Philip Larkin is known for his poetry, which often explored themes of isolation, mortality and the human condition in a wry and humorous way. He was also a novelist, librarian and jazz critic.

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