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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Movement is a product not only of 1950s journalism but also of its historical moment, here identified with a general wish to ‘speak out’ in poetry. Philip Larkin is thought to epitomize Movement poetry and was therefore prominent in Blake Morrison’s account, which consequently underestimated the part played by Donald Davie in the attempt to revitalize the social function of poetry. Davie’s urbanity and the colloquialism of Larkin and Amis seemed for a while to have common purpose. Davie’s disillusion with the Movement left the way clear for Larkin to be seen as its embodiment. Uncertainty as to what the Movement was, inherent in its journalistic origins, meant that, as time passed, it could be denigrated with ease in the cause of other ideas of poetry. However, it remains in need of assessment in its own terms and as a specifically English cultural phenomenon.

Keywords: Movement, Morrison, Davie, Larkin

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