TLS Prints ‘Previously Unpublished’ Philip Larkin Poem That Wasn’t Actually Written By Him, Twitter Has A Field Day

Think you’re having a bad day? Spare a thought for poor Tom Cook.

Cook is a poet and “ambling postgraduate” at Oxford University. And it seems he had something of a coup for The Times Literary Supplement:

That’s right: an unpublished Philip Larkin poem. Which was proudly put on the TLS website…

tls philip larkin in and out

…and promptly taken down again. Why? Because there turned out out be a slight problem. That problem being: this previously unpublished Philip Larkin poem wasn’t actually by Philip Larkin.

Yes, as Michael Caines points out in his piece, ‘In And Out’ – despite being “so perfectly (too perfectly?) Larkinesque” is, in fact, by a poet called Frank Redpath.

Tom Cook immediately tweeted a quote by TS Eliot (at least, we think it’s by him):

And several links to further explanations. But not before Twitter had a field day with the discovery…

Of course, in Cook’s defence…

Indeed. And Cook himself took it all in good part:

Still, we don’t think the surprising Larkin poems are going to stop any time soon…

larkin spoof

Well, indeed. How were we supposed to know?

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