Philip Larkin’s Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse provoked controversy and dispute on first publication in 1973. Warmly welcomed by fellow poets John Betjeman and W. H. Auden, it was also considered a quirky and idiosyncratic collection by some critics. Today it is recognized as a fine and wide-ranging selection of modern English verse. The successor to W. B. Yeats’s Oxford Book of Modern Verse, Larkin’s collection radically re-assessed the century’s achievement in poetry, introducing many less well-known poets among the acknowledged greats. As Larkin writes in his Preface, in choosing poems rather than individuals he has brought together `poems that will give pleasure to their readers both separately and as a collection’.For this latest reissue, the poet’s biographer Andrew Motion has written a new Foreword in which he considers the nature of Larkin as editor.