Louis Macneice

(12 September 1907 – 3 September 1963 / Belfast)


Poem by Louis Macneice

Forty-two years ago (to me if to no one else
The number is of some interest) it was a brilliant starry night
And the westward train was empty and had no corridors
So darting from side to side I could catch the unwonted sight
Of those almost intolerably bright
Holes, punched in the sky, which excited me partly because
Of their Latin names and partly because I had read in the textbooks
How very far off they were, it seemed their light
Had left them (some at least) long years before I was.

And this remembering now I mark that what
Light was leaving some of them at least then,
Forty-two years ago, will never arrive
In time for me to catch it, which light when
It does get here may find that there is not
Anyone left alive
To run from side to side in a late night train
Admiring it and adding noughts in vain.

Comments about Star-Gazer by Louis Macneice

  • katina (10/9/2019 6:11:00 AM)

    The voice recordings of all these poems are truly destructive...it would be so much nicer to have a non-roboticised reading(Report)Reply

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  • Elvira Madigan (9/5/2019 6:11:00 AM)


    Somewhat similar is a poem by Mihai Eminescu, translated into Spahish on this very site:
    https: //www.poemhunter.com/poem/mihai-eminescu-a-la-estrella/

    Thank you!(Report)Reply

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  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/1/2016 2:31:00 AM)

    Poetry with such powerful lines leaving great impact on the reader...In time for me to catch it, which light when
    It does get here may find that there is not
    Anyone left alive(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Dawn FuzanDawn Fuzan (5/14/2014 5:01:00 PM)

    Louis This is an interesting piece of poetry keep it up(Report)Reply

    Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini(11/11/2015 1:14:00 PM)

    sorry Dawn.. he's dead.. in 1963... ;)

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Michael Shepherd (5/20/2007 5:07:00 AM)

    Whoever posted this, please check you haven't displaced 'remembering this' to 'this remembering'?(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: light, sky, night, star, time, remember, running

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003