The North Ship

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The North Ship
NorthShip.jpg
First edition
Author Philip Larkin
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Poetry
Publisher Fortune Press
Published in English
1945

The North Ship is a collection of poems by Philip Larkin (1922-1985), and was published in 1945 by Reginald A. Caton's Fortune Press. Caton did not pay his writers and expected them to buy a certain number of copies themselves. A similar arrangement had been used in 1934 by Dylan Thomas for his first anthology.

The volume was published again, in 1966, by Faber and Faber Limited.[1] In the 1945 version there are 31 items, numbered with Roman numerals. The last of these, "The North Ship" is a set of five poems tracking a ship's northward progress. Of the 30 single poems, only seven have titles. Some of the poems were composed while Larkin was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford, but the bulk were written in the period 1943 to 1944 when he was running the public library in Wellington, Shropshire and writing his second novel A Girl in Winter.

In the 1966 reissue an extra poem, "Waiting for breakfast, while she brushed her hair" was added at the end. This edition is still in print.

The North Ship constitutes the first part of the 2003 edition of Larkin's Collected Poems

Content[edit]

The book contains 32 poems:

  • Ellipsis (...) indicates first line of an untitled poem
Sequence Poem title or first line
01I All catches alight...
02II This was your place of birth, this daytime palace...
03III The moon is full tonight...
04IV Dawn
05V Conscript
06VI Kick up the fire, and let the flames break loose...
07VII The horns of the morning...
08VIII Winter
09IX Climbing the hill within the deafening wind...
10X Within the dream you said...
11XI Night-Music
12XII Like the train's beat...
13XIII I put my mouth...
14XIV Nursery Tale
15XV The Dancer
16XVI The bottle is drunk out by one...
17XVII To write one song, I said...
18XVIII If grief could burn out...
19XIX Ugly Sister
20XX I see a girl dragged by the wrists...
21XXI I dreamed of an out-thrust arm of land...
22XXII One man walking a deserted platform...
23XXIII If hands could free you, heart...
24XXIV Love, we must part now: do not let it be...
25XXV Morning has spread again...
26XXVI This is the first thing...
27XXVII Heaviest of flowers, the head...
28XXVIII Is it for now or for always...
29XXIX Pour away that youth...
30XXX So through that unripe day you bore your head...
31XXXI The North Ship

Legend
Songs 65° N
70° N Fortunetelling
75° N Blizzard
Above 80° N

32XXXII Waiting for breakfast, while she brushed her hair...

See also[edit]

References[edit]