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“Poetry (at any rate in my case) is like trying to remember a tune you’ve forgotten. All corrections are attempts to get nearer to the forgotten tune. A poem is written because the poet gets a sudden vision—lasting one second or less—and he attempts to express the whole of which the vision is a part.”

letter to J. B. Sutton, December 20, 1940, Selected Letters of Philip Larkin: 1940-1985 (New York: Faber & Faber, 1999).
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