Autumn Journal: A Poem (Faber poetry) by Louis MacNeice

By Louis MacNeice

Written among August and December 1938, Autumn Journal continues to be one among the main helpful and relocating testaments of dwelling throughout the thirties via a tender author. it's a list of the author's emotional and highbrow adventure in the course of these months, the minutiae of daily residing set opposed to the occasions of the area outdoors, the payment in Munich and gradual defeat in Spain.

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Extra resources for Autumn Journal: A Poem (Faber poetry)

Example text

Sufficient to the moment is the moment; Past and future merely don't make sense And yet I thought I had seen them . . But how, if there is only a present tense? Come on, boys, we aren't afraid of bogies, Give us another drink; This little lady has a fetish, She goes to bed in mink. This little pig went to market - Now I think you may look, I think the coast is clear Well, why don't you answer? I can't answer because they are still there. xvi Nightmare leaves fatigue: We envy men of action Who sleep and wake, murder and intrigue Without being doubtful, without being haunted.

X And so return to work - the MA. gown, Alphas and Betas, central heating, floor-polish, Demosthenes on the Crown And Oedipus at Colonus. And I think of the beginnings of other terms Coming across the sea to unknown England And memory reaffirms That alarm and exhilaration of arrival: White wooden boxes, clatter of boots, a smell Of changing-rooms - Lifebuoy soap and muddy flannels - And over all a bell Dragooning us to dormitory or classroom, Ringing with a tongue of frost across the bare Benches and desks escutcheoned with initials; We sat on the hot pipes by the wall, aware Of the cold in our bones and the noise and the bell impending.

A smell of French bread in Charlotte Street, a rustle Of leaves in Regent's Park And suddenly from the Zoo I hear a sea-lion Confidently bark. And so to my flat with the trees outside the window And the dahlia shapes of the lights on Primrose Hill Whose summit once was used for a gun emplacement And very likely will Be used that way again. The bloody frontier Converges on our beds Like jungle beaters closing in on their destined Trophy of pelts and heads. And at this hour of the day it is no good saying 'Take away this cup'; Having helped to fill it ourselves it is only logic That now we should drink it up.

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