Abbey honours Philip Larkin with Poets’ Corner memorial
Thursday, 1st December 2016
A memorial to the poet Philip Larkin CH CBE was dedicated in Poets’ Corner in the south transept of Westminster Abbey on Friday 2nd December 2016.
The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who had announced his decision to honour the poet in June last year at Philip Larkin’s former office at the University of Hull where he was Librarian.
The Address was given by Blake Morrison, poet and author.
Dr Anthony Thwaite OBE, President of The Philip Larkin Society, and Professor Edwin Dawes, Chair of The Philip Larkin Society, unveiled the memorial.
The Right Honourable The Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone PC DL, Chancellor of the University of Hull and High Sheriff of Kingston upon Hull, read Larkin’s poems Solar, The Trees, and Water.
Grayson Perry CBE read from A Letter to Monica 23rd October 1962, Dr Thwaite read from Church Going, and Sir Tom Courtenay read Days and Reference Back.
Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Precentor of Westminster.
The ledger stone, of Purbeck Thornback, was cut by sculptor Martin Jennings, who also made the statue of Larkin at Hull station. It is inscribed with the final lines from Larkin’s poem, The Arundel Tomb. The full inscription reads:
1922 – 1985
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.