Louis MacNeice


Louis MacNeice was widely regarded in the 1930s as a junior member of the Auden-Spender-Day Lewis group: MacNeice and Stephen Spender were contemporaries and friends at Oxford, serving as joint editors of Oxford Poetry, 1929. MacNeice became a friend of W.H. Auden’s and collaborated with him on Letters from Iceland (1937). And in Modern Poetry (1938), MacNeice provided the best critical statement of the poetic aims and achievements of his friends. Despite these personal and professional ties, MacNeice did not share the ideological commitments of the “Auden group.” From first to last, his own work reflects a melancholy skepticism too honest to give final assent to any fixed system. MacNeice might sympathize with, and even envy, those who believed, but he remained a detached outsider. Source


The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was

Spawning snow and pink roses against it

Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:

World is suddener than we fancy it.


World is crazier and more of it than we think,

Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion

A tangerine and spit the pips and feel

The drunkenness of things being various.


And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world

Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes— 

On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands—

There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.





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Education & Learning

Poems of the Everyday

Literary Devices:


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a phrase, sentence, or longer written work that deviates from the grammatical norm in some way.