Handwritten Philip Larkin poem sells at auction for $11,500

Love, a poem hand-written by popular English poet Philip Larkin, sold at Bonhams London for £7,500 ($11,687) yesterday (May 8).

Philip Larkin poem auction
Larkin, pictured in Hull university library – where he worked as a librarian for thirty years

The sale represents the first time a Larkin poem has ever appeared at auction. The price achieved is therefore a new Philip Larkin auction record.

The first stanza of Love reads:

The difficult part of love

Is being selfish enough

Is having the blind persistence

To upset an existence

Just for your own sake

What cheek it must take.

Estimated to be worth £4,000, the darkly-humorous poem sold with an increase of 87.5%.

Oscar Wilde's draft of Heart's Yearnings was the top-performing manuscript; an early portrait of the author also put in a strong performance, bringing £16,250 ($25,272).

If you love literature, check out this Charles Dickens-autographed letter we currently have in stock.

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