AUTUMN JOURNAL by the same author THE EARTH COMPELS OUT OF THE PICTURE POEMS AUTUMN JOURNAL a poem by LOUIS MACNEICE Faber and . 8 quotes from Autumn Journal: ‘September has come, it is hersWhose vitality leaps in the autumn,Whose nature prefersTrees without leaves and a fire in. Written between August and December , Autumn Journal is still Louis MacNeice was born in Belfast in , the son of a Church of Ireland rector, later a.
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The wood is white like the roast flesh of chicken. Why should I want to go back To you, Ireland, my Ireland? Noli me tangeremy soul is forfeit.
And I think of Persephone gone down to dark. A gramophone, a cat, and the smell of jasmine.
Hitler yells on the wireless, Aktumn night is damp and still 50 And I hear dull blows on wood macneixe my window; They are cutting down the trees on Primrose Hill. Think of a number, double it, treble it, square it, And sponge it out And repeat ad lib. Beneath the electric signs as crude as Fate. Sleep to the noise of running water To-morrow to be crossed, however deep; This is no river of the dead or Lethe, To-night we sleep On the banks of Rubicon — the die is cast; There will be time to audit The accounts later, there will be sunlight later And the equation will come out at last.
For this reason I shall probably be called a trimmer by some and a sentimentalist by others. And so to London and down the ever-moving Stairs. And I envy the intransigence of my own.
And I got my honours degree. Factory, a site for a factory, rubbish dumps, Bungalows in lath and plaster, in brick, in concrete, And shining semi-circles of petrol pumps Like intransigent gangs of idols.
All that the tripper autujn is the status quo. Barbarians always, life in the particular always, Dozens of men in the street, And the perennial if unimportant problem Of getting enough to eat.
Aristotle was right to think of man-in-action As the essential and really existent man And man macmeice men jokrnal action; try and confine your Self to yourself if you can. I never thought that I should.
Then, as I wrote, it became equally tempting to break it down and write something three times the length; but there is no time.
In fact, so structurally embedded is this plurality that without it there could be no Autumn Journal. Of doubt — a pillar of salt. Following the track from the gallows back to the town; Each has a rope at the end of his neck. But oh, not now my macneiice, but oh my friend, Can you not take it merely on macenice that life is The only thing worth living and that dying Had better be left to take care of itself in the end?
The bloody frontier Macneiec on our beds Like jungle beaters closing in on their destined Trophy of pelts and heads. The wheels whished in the wet, the flashy strings Of neon lights unravelled, the windscreen-wiper Kept at its job like a tiger in a cage or a cricket that sings All ajtumn through for nothing.
Sleep serene, avoid the backward. Special editions snatched and read abruptly. As pretty as a Guy Fawkes show — Silver sprays and tracer bullets — And in the pauses of destruction The cocks in the centre of the town jpurnal. And he goes home and writes: Give us another drink. Who slouch around the world with a gesture and a brogue. They are selling and buying the late.
Autumn Journal – Louis MacNeice – – Allen & Unwin – Australia
The barrels of oranges and apples. And the spyglasses hung in the hall and the prayer-books ready in the pew. Give me a houri but houris are too easy, Give me a nun; We’ll rape the angels off the golden reredos Before we’re done. This little pig went to market —. And Easter was wet and full In Seville and in the ring on Easter Atuumn A clumsy bull and then a clumsy bull Nodding his banderillas died of boredom. An essential collection of poems from one of Ireland’s most treasured poets.
Pile high the tumulus, good-bye to starlight. Passing like a patch of sun on the rainy hill And yet we love her for ever and hate our neighbour And each one in his will Binds his heirs to continuance of hatred.
And the next election came — Labour defeats in Erdington and Aston; And life went on — for us went on the same; Who were we to count the losses?
The closer the poet gets to his destination, and real life, the more the personal and general are mixed together. Where a warm wind blows the bodies of men together. And dressed by Schiaparelli, with a pill-box hat. And at La Linea while The night put miles between us and Gibraltar We heard the blood-lust of a drunkard pile His heaven high with curses 5 And johrnal day took the boat For home, forgetting Spain, not realising That Spain would soon denote Our grief, our aspirations macneuce Not knowing that our blunt Ideals would find their whetstone, that our spirit Would find its frontier on the Spanish front, Its body in a rag-tag army.
Now it is morning again, the 25th of October, In a white fog the cars have yellow lights; The chill creeps up the wrists, the sun is sallow, The silent hours grow down like stalactites. The stretchers run from ward to ward, The telephone rings in empty houses, The torn shirt soaks on the scrubbing board, 0 what a busy morning.
The figures of the dance repeat The unending cycle of making and spending money, Eating our daily bread in order to earn it And earning in order to eat. A city built upon mud; A culture built upon profit; Free speech nipped in the bud, The minority always guilty.
And I am in the train now too and summer is going. Some went back to work and the void i Took on shape while others climbing ; The uphill nights of the unemployed Woke in the morning to factory hooters. Some now are happy in the hive of home, Thigh over thigh and a light in the night nursery, And some are hungry under the starry dome And some sit turning handles.
And the individual, powerless, has to exert the. Now I must look for both. But in case you should think my education was wasted I hasten to explain That having once been to the University of Oxford You can never really again Believe anything that anyone says and that of course is an asset In a world like ours; Why bother to water a garden That is planted with paper flowers?