Philip Arthur Larkin CH CBE FRSL (9 August 1922 – 2 December 1985) was an English poet, novelist, and librarian.
Larkin matriculated at St John’s in October 1940, a year after the outbreak of the Second World War. Due to his poor eyesight, Larkin failed his military medical examination and was able to study for the usual three years. Through his tutorial partner, Norman Iles, he met Kingsley Amis (1941, English Language and Literature), who encouraged his taste for ridicule and irreverence and who remained a close friend throughout Larkin's life. In 1943 he sat his finals, and, having dedicated much of his time to his own writing, was greatly surprised at being awarded a first-class honours degree.
After graduating, Larkin became a librarian. It was during the thirty years he worked with distinction as university librarian at the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull that he produced the greater part of his published work.
Larkin was chosen in a 2003 Poetry Book Society survey, almost two decades after his death, as Britain's best-loved poet of the previous 50 years, and in 2008 The Times named him Britain's greatest post-war writer