At first glance, Philip Larkin may seem to be even more disenchanted than Charles Tomlinson. The latter, at least, is fascinated by the phenomena that the outside world offers; the former circumscribes and qualifies his delights. If Tomlinson represents a poetry of attunement and self-contentment, Larkin represents a poetry of rejection and complaint. They are commonly thought to stand at opposite ends of an emotional spectrum; as we have seen in Chapter 1, the poets themselves tend to reinforce this rather deceptive binarism, which so often obscures the wellsprings of each poet’s verse. While Tomlinson is taken to task for his “unalienated” stance, Larkin is criticized for excessive and groundless alienation. He is known for his gloom, his disappointment, his morbidity. To call his personality difficult is to be charitable, though most of his acquaintances (as opposed to readers who can only access Larkin in print) insist upon his kindliness. It is not difficult to see Larkin as a poet writing against the world; it is difficult to determine what he would wish for in its stead. It would be a mistake, however, to uncritically assume that he only gives voice to the disappointing side of life. It would even be a mistake to call him a poet of darkness. Larkin is responsible for crafting, line by meticulous line, some of the most radiant visions and most impassioned defenses of spiritual value of the later twentieth century.