The Movement and the Poetry of Philip Larkin

Creative Commons License

Can T.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE ACADEMY, vol.3, pp.471-480, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Indexes: MLA - Modern Language Association Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.471-480
  • TED University Affiliated: No


Literary periods and groups have provided the literary historian with a practical instrument to divide and subdivide the great history of literature into more manageable and comprehensible units. Yet, literary periods and groups may also entail certain problems, particularly about group identity. The Movement, which, from its uncertain beginnings in the 1950s, has come to define a prolific era of English poetry, is one of such problematic groupings. Contrary to what its name suggests, the Movement does not refer to a coherent group of poets with a clear manifesto, or artistic programme, but to a trend in poetry that emerged in the cultural climate of post-war England. Therefore, critical studies on the Movement poetry should not focus on the question of group identity, whose existence is highly dubious, but should rather be committed to theoretical discussions on the works of major poets of the 1950s. In other words, the ethos of the Movement can only be found in the works of the poets associated with it. Accordingly, this article aims to establish the theoretical frame of the Movement poetry through a discussion of Philip Larkin’s poems, interviews and private writings