Milestones: Dec. 16, 1985

DIED. Philip Larkin, 63, critically acclaimed British poet of almost defiant diffidence and pervasive melancholy who once said that "deprivation is for me what daffodils were to Wordsworth"; of throat cancer; in Hull, England. A reclusive provincial librarian for more than 40 years after graduating from Oxford, Larkin honed his clarity of observation, particularly regarding homely, accessible subject matter, in two novels (Jill, 1946, and A Girl in Winter, 1947) and four spare collections of verse published at roughly ten- year intervals. He shunned the readings, lectures and interviews that increasing fame brought him. The overwhelming favorite to succeed Poet Laureate...

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