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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Larkin is nation's top poet
Philip Larkin
Larkin worked as a librarian
Philip Larkin has been chosen as the nation's best-loved poet of the last 50 years, according to a survey by the Poetry Book Society.

The poet's The Whitsun Weddings was also named the best-loved poem and the best-loved collection of poems.

The survey was held to mark the joint 50th Anniversary of the Poetry Book Society and the Poetry Library and thousands of people were canvassed.

Larkin died almost 18 years ago but his poetry collections, including High Windows, have become required reading for school children and students.

Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were named the joint second favourite poets.

Favourite poets
1. Philip Larkin
2. Ted Hughes
2. Sylvia Plath
4. Seamus Heaney
5. RS Thomas
A film about their relationship, called Sylvia, starring Gwyneth Paltrow as the poet, is due to be released next year.

Carol Ann Duffy figured very well in the survey - her poem Prayer was second favourite, her The World's Wife collection was fourth and she was named the 10th favourite poet in the country.

T S Eliot founded the Poetry Book Society in 1950 and in the same year the Poetry Library made its first-ever loans.

The book society works to provide literature lovers with access to contemporary poetry which they might not find in high street book-shops.

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08 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
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