Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

MacNeice, Louis. (1907 - 1963).

L i f e

- born in Northern Ireland > his poetry marked by ambiguity and his divided loyalty between Ireland x England

- unlike the other Auden Circle poets remained neutral both in terms of politics and religion

W o r k

- pioneered radio drama, author of poetry, literary criticism, and translations

- delights in the surface of the world his senses apprehend, often adds wit and a wild gaiety (“Bagpipe Music”)

x but: remains aware of the temporality of all things: an underlying sense of sadness and sometimes tragedy

- remarkably thematically consistent: recognises his own contradictions as an artist in the external manifestations of human history and undergoes a process of questioning and balancing these contradictions

- produces open and honest poetry of a consistently high level of craftsmanship: the second only to W. H. Auden among the 1930s poets

Poems (1935):

> “Snow”:

- celebrates ‘the drunkenness of things being various’

Plant and Phantom (1941):

> “Entirely”:

- claims no way to be right entirely in the modern reality

Springboard (1944):

> “Prayer Before Birth”:

- a charm-like demand for the spirit of delight and freedom from those ‘who would freeze’ his humanity

Holes in the Sky (1948):

> “Woods”:

-  compares his father’s relish for empty Irish moorlands x his own for the woodlands of the ‘tame’ English landscape

The Burning Perch (1963):

- a ‘Wessex Guidebook’, modelled on Thomas Hardy's landscape

- mingles portrayals of the lush and varied landscape with archaeological, historical, and literary associations

- concludes with stating the indifference of Time to men and of men to history in a deliberate and appropriately Hardyian tone

Agamemnon (1936):

- a translation of Aeschylus’s epic, in an often colloquial and unheroic verse


(Photo: Britannica).

  • Author

    Frederick Louis MacNeice. (1907 - 1963). Anglo-Irish.
  • Work

    Poet. Playwright. Member of Auden's Circle.
  • Genre

    Modern poetry.


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


"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."

From "Snow" (1935).


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