The Poetry of Philip Larkin

Ref: C3672238

This course will explore the major works of Philip Larkin, looking at his development as a poet, and exploring many of his best loved poems. We will analyse the poems through free and open discussion, and all views will be valued.In week six there will be a guided walk around the centre of Hull looking at places associated with Larkin's poetry.

Course aim

To provide a comprehensive overview of the art and style of the poetry of Philip Larkin. Includes a guided tour of poetic points of interest in the centre of Hull. No previous knowledge of Larkin's poetry is required.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is also suitable for people who know Larkin's work already, as well as beginners.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Analyse Larkin's poems with a personal response, evaluating and backing up your ideas with evidence from the poems.
  • Analyse Larkin's poems in the group, using some of the techniques of literary criticism e.g. looking at imagery, and metre, as well as other features.
  • Appreciate that reading poems aloud can often bring them to life- be comfortable reading aloud, or listening to others reading aloud.
  • See Larkin's art in the context of his life and era, and in the context of the city of Hull, on the walking tour in week 6.
  • Explore other people's views on Larkin, including critics, understanding why some are seen as outstanding as twentieth century poetry, or his "best" and critically evaluate this.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • It would be helpful if you had an anthology of Larkin's poetry and brought it to the class although this is not essential as photocopies will be provided.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • You may find it helpful to read about Larkin before the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

The Poetry of Philip Larkin

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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