Booth’s psychology is subtler than Motion’s and more convincing. His achievement is to paint a satisfying and believably complex picture. Larkin the nihilist also wrote: ‘ The ultimate joy is to be alive in the flesh.’ Larkin the xenophobe loved Paris and translated Verlaine. Larkin the racist wrote the wonderful lyric ‘For Sidney Bechet’ and dreamt of being a negro. The Larkin who wrote ‘They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad’ loved his own parents.