Books: A Solitary Sensibility

THE WHITSUN WEDDINGS by Philip Larkin. 46 pages. Random House. $4.

Eliot lies in ashes. Auden flogs his muse infrequently in exile. England, for so many centuries "a nest of singing birds," finds herself today unwontedly in want of a great poet she can call her own. Yet in a quiet nook of Yorkshire, a strange bird occasionally lifts his voice to cantillate the fierce interior music of a tortured and solitary sensibility:

Truly, though our element is time,

We are not suited to the long perspectives

Open at each instant of our lives.

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