Louis Macneice

(12 September 1907 – 3 September 1963 / Belfast)

Louis Macneice Poems

1. June Thunder 1/3/2003
2. The Brandy Glass 1/3/2003
3. Christina 1/3/2003
4. Bagpipe Music 1/3/2003
5. Carrickfergus 1/3/2003
6. Soap Suds 1/3/2003
7. Epilogue 1/3/2003
8. Sunday Morning 1/3/2003
9. Wolves 8/12/2003
10. House On A Cliff 1/13/2003
11. Autobiography 1/3/2003
12. Star-Gazer 1/3/2003
13. The Suicide 1/3/2003
14. The Sunlight On The Garden 1/3/2003
15. Snow 1/3/2003
16. Prayer Before Birth 1/3/2003

Comments about Louis Macneice

  • John Orford (9/14/2018 6:17:00 PM)

    I remember him from the late 40s and 50s - he was popular then among many young people. The world is seldom a happy place for him. He is still relevant in our troubled world.

    Come then all of you, come closer, form a circle,
    Join hands and make believe that joined
    Hands will keep away the wolves of water
    Who howl along our coast. And be it assumed
    That no one hears them among the talk and laughter.

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  • Peter McLaren (11/12/2017 5:25:00 AM)

    Although MacNeice is not usually thought of a 'great poet' he has more memorable lines than any other non great poet of the 20th century. He was a Irish song bird in the tradition of Thomas Moore; though cankered with all the angst of his age he tries to be as blithe as he can, for the music's sake. His felicity of phrase perfumes one's idle thoughts. One feels grateful to him.

  • Marcus Smith Poetry Marcus Smith Poetry (7/29/2017 5:47:00 PM)

    McNeice is a tragic poet who, not believing enough in the ennoblement of tragedy, contents himself (and his readers) in ‘find[ing] pathos’ in soap suds or the broken hollow doll ‘dead on the nursery floor.’ He is a poet of beautiful sadness whose poems are shattered by intrusions of happiness.

Best Poem of Louis Macneice

Prayer Before Birth

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.

I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.

I am not yet born; forgive me
For ...

Read the full of Prayer Before Birth

Sunday Morning

Down the road someone is practising scales,
The notes like little fishes vanish with a wink of tails,
Man's heart expands to tinker with his car
For this is Sunday morning, Fate's great bazaar;
Regard these means as ends, concentrate on this Now,

And you may grow to music or drive beyond Hindhead anyhow,
Take corners on two wheels until you go so fast
That you can clutch a fringe or two of the windy past,

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