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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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This paradox enables much of the best irony in the poem. Who could expect — or want — to be spiritually self- supporting, Eternal self-abuse?

Autumn Journal Quotes by Louis MacNeice

In a week I return jpurnal work, lecturing, coaching, As impresario of the Ancient Greeks Who wore the chiton and lived on fish and olives And talked philosophy or smut in cliques; Who believed in youth and did not gloze the unpleasant Consequences of age; Autum is life, one said, or what is pleasant Once you have turned the page Of love?

She is both a bore and a bitch; Better close the horizon, Send her no more fantasy, no aytumn longings which Are under a fatal tariff. We envy men of action. I answered that it was rather late in the day to show off in this way, as nearly all literary London had long sutumn done the rounds of the trenches in Madrid and hobnobbed with the Republican celebrities.

Joyrnal my office hours, with flowers and sirens. This vividness, which makes London feel like a living character in the poem, is essential to the understanding of what was at stake for both of us, in our two parallel autumns—as jjournal section V: And in quiet crooked streets only the village pub Spills a golden puddle Over the pavement and trees bend down and rub Unopened dormer windows with their knuckles.

We envy men of action Who sleep and wake, murder and intrigue Without being doubtful, without being haunted. If it is something feasible, obtainable, Let us dream it now, And pray for a possible land Not of sleep-walkers, not of angry puppets, But where both heart and brain can understand The movements of our fellows; Where life is a choice of instruments and none Is debarred his natural music, Where the waters of life are free of the ice-blockade of hunger And thought is free as the sun, Where the altars of sheer power and mere profit Have fallen to disuse, Where nobody sees the use Of buying money and blood at the cost augumn blood and money, Where the individual, no longer squandered In self-assertion, works with the rest, endowed With the split vision of a juggler and the quick lock of a taxi, Where the people are more than a crowd.


Autumn Journal Quotes

It is so hard to imagine A world where the many would have their chance without A fall in the standard of intellectual living And nothing left that the highbrow cared about. Sing us no more idylls, no more pastorals, No more epics of the English earth maceice The country is a dwindling annexe to the factory, Squalid as an after-birth. As all the hournal do who with a grin Shake off sleep like a dog and hurry to desk or engine And the fear of life goes out as they clock in And history is reasserted.

While we sleep, what shall we dream?

Men and women, each like a closed door. The wood is white like the roast flesh of chicken. The bombs in the turnip sack, the sniper from the roof, Griffith, Connolly, Collins, where have they brought us?

Dublin Castle, the vice-regal ball, The embassies of Europe, Hatred maccneice on a wall, Gaols and revolvers. The land of scholars and saints: Will there ever be a green tree or a rock that is dry? MacNeice was afflicted all his life with nightmares; they were a big feature, traceable back to the time when he was five, and his mother was taken away to the asylum, never to return. South as I go north. Writing definitions on invisible blackboards.

It is about everything which from first-hand experience I consider important. Or sneezing in the morning sunlight or smelling the bonfire Over the webbed lawn and the naked cabbage plot?

Full text of “Autumn Journal”

Or self-indulgence, blinkers on the eyes of doubt. For to have been born is in itself a triumph Among all that waste of sperm And it is gratitude to autjmn the proper term Or, if not gratitude, duty. Parts of it make almost no sense if you try, like a Victorian schoolmarm, to parse them.


This England is tight and narrow, teeming with un- wanted Children who are so many, each is alone j Niobe and her children Stand beneath the smokestack turned to stone. Last autumn, authmn dangerously high pressure in my glaucoma-ridden left eye, I reread Autumn Journal at the rate of about one section every two days.

Behind you in the desert stands a token. Not strictly a journal but giving the tenor of my emotional experiences during that period. Written at speed as events unfolded—a quality MacNeice gave linguistic body to with his run-on sentences, lists, changes of register and piled-on subject matter jourrnal Autumn Journal is, in large part, a riff. And then they taught us philosophy, logic and meta- physics, The Negative Judgment and the Ding an Sich, And every single thinker was powerful as Napoleon And crafty as Metternich.

Be telling them vice-versa. Now the till and the macheice call the fingers, The workman gathers his tools For the eight-hour day but after that the solace Of films or football pools Or of the gossip or cuddle, the moments of self-glory Or self-indulgence, blinkers on the eyes of doubt, The blue smoke rising and the brown lace sinking In the empty glass of stout.

It is written throughout wutumn an elastic kind of quatrain. And we thought the papers a lark. But life was comfortable, life was fine. Sleep, my brain, and sleep, my senses, Sleep, my hunger and my spite. And the North, where I was a boy, Is still the North, veneered with the grime of Glasgow, Thousands of men whom nobody will employ Standing at the corners, coughing. Sleep now also; monk and satyr, Cease your wrangling for a night.

The fact remains that Eliot was right about Autumn Journal.

And the spyglasses hung in the hall and the prayer-books ready in the pew. In just this way I read his poem last year in a state of generalised anxiety, with newspaper headlines howling about a different international crisis, on the chairs in hospital waiting rooms.