Tuesday, May 14, 2002

A lawnmower believed to have been the inspiration for one of Philip Larkin's last published - and best known - poems has become one of the most unusual additions to the University of Hull's archives.
Archivist Brian Dyson said it was likely the machine was the one Larkin was using when he accidentally killed a hedgehog, which inspired the poem, The Mower, published in 1979.

The world eagerly awaits publication of the Larkin/Amis letters, which will detail Kingsley's protracted loan of Phil's mower during the summer of 1954. Sources close to the volume's editors say that Amis angered Larkin by using the mower to write the first chapter of Lucky Jim, which he did on a very large field near Leicester.

The incident prefigures Sylvia Plath's tragic experience with a strimmer in 1961.

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