An article in The Telegraph says that the statue of the poet Philip Larkin in Hull has been placed on a secret racism review’s list following Black Lives Matter protests.
In his letters, Larkin made racist comments, which has caused the poet’s statue to be placed on the review list.
The article states that emails from those employed by the Council have argued that the statue should stay, and I would be astounded if Larkin is removed from public view.
In my view, a poet’s (or any other literary person’s views) should not disqualify them from being honoured by a statue. It is the quality of a poet’s work on which they should be judged. One may condemn the opinions of an individual (I do not agree with Larkin’s views on race), whilst celebrating their literary greatness.
Amongst my favourite Larkin poems, are Aubade and Ambulances. His description in the former poem of why so many people fear death is masterful and it is a poem to which I often return.
To read the article, (which is behind a paywall) please follow this link, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/06/philip-larkin-statue-placed-secret-racism-reviews-list-following/.