Louis Macneice

(12 September 1907 – 3 September 1963 / Belfast)

Prayer Before Birth - Poem by Louis Macneice

I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.
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Comments about Prayer Before Birth by Louis Macneice

  • Silver Star - 3,952 Points Soumita Sarkar (9/6/2015 9:49:00 AM)

    Excellent piece of write that..... the poet has delineated the age of mechanical slavery to the hardened humanity.....let not me born in such an age....where my death lives me...Thanks....Poets like you have kept hope alive for redemption. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Jeremy Waldron (6/29/2015 1:57:00 PM)

    Wow! I just looked it up, jogged by memory. My twelfth grade class studied it at school (long ago and far away, in the late 1960s, public high school in New Zealand.) (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,979 Points Kay Staley (10/6/2014 11:10:00 AM)

    Love the language and alliteration and the unique style. Think how hard it would be to write something like this that actually made sense, as good as this one does! (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,400 Points Briony Nicholls (8/30/2014 10:30:00 AM)

    This is a brilliant poem that I will keep re-reading to gain more of its multi-faceted insights into how we are moulded and created. Unfortunately it is just as piercingly relevant today as it was back in 1944. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Stefania Hadjipalou (3/14/2014 5:47:00 AM)

    I luv dis poemtree! ! ! ! tis xcellen! ! AMAZBALLZ - I ride sum poemtree meself i will post sun
    Manyy tanks (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Fiona Powell (12/5/2013 6:12:00 PM)

    Still my favourite poem from when I first read it as a teenager 35 years ago. It is as relevant now - if not more so - than when it was first written in 1944. Check out more of MacNeice's stuff - it's very modern in thought, imagery and words. Bagpipe Music is another famous one. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,573 Points Babatunde Aremu (10/6/2013 2:38:00 PM)

    Fantastic poem. I like the style (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 47 Points Pandora Johnson (9/20/2013 3:37:00 AM)

    Powerful evocative and captivating....WOW! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sridatta Gupta (10/7/2012 10:44:00 PM)

    loved it.amazing expression (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,666 Points Kevin Patrick (10/6/2012 7:14:00 PM)

    Our Identity is influenced by a combination of genetics and environment, it impacts us and shapes us to be what we are, what I like about this is that Mr Macneice is feeling the conundrum of being something that he is not entirely comfortable with, he exists but is not alive as an entity of his own will but as an impulse of the greater world. He is trying to be a man without being compromised by the greater social order. At least thats how I interpret it, either way it’s a wonderful modern poem that says what it wants and can be read with thoughtful understanding. Regards (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Susanta Pattnayak (10/6/2012 7:20:00 AM)

    I am not yet born; O hear me....console me.... provide me....forgive me....rehearse me......
    ... O fill me
    With strength against those who would freeze my
    Otherwise kill me.

    Simply, I love the poem! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nathi Vusi (3/19/2012 12:12:00 AM)

    This is a beautiful poem. I love it. I can almost hear the poet's thoughts while writing this poem, so strong and meaningful. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie H Fm (2/6/2010 7:23:00 PM)

    I love this poem - I must agree with Maureen, it has stayed with me for many years.
    Strange as this request might appear, I am looking for a serious translation of it into Polish if anyone can help?

    Many thanks
    H :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Maureen Travers (4/15/2007 1:41:00 PM)

    I first read this poem many years ago. It has stayed with me ever since (as all the best poems do) and I believe it has influenced my personal philosophy. I think that people have much more influence on other people, other creatures, the world, than many of us would like to believe. We all affect those around us just by being on earth. As a novice poet myself, I hope that someday my words may have a profound effect on at least one person. Surely that makes anyone's life worthwhile? (Report) Reply

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