By Louis MacNeice
Written among August and December 1938, Autumn Journal remains to be one of the main useful and relocating testaments of dwelling during the thirties by means of a tender author. it's a checklist of the author's emotional and highbrow event in the course of these months, the minutiae of daily dwelling set opposed to the occasions of the realm outdoor, the cost in Munich and sluggish defeat in Spain.
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Extra resources for Autumn Journal: A Poem (Faber poetry)
And Pindar sang the garland of wild olive And Alcibiades lived from hand to mouth Double-crossing Athens, Persia, Sparta, And many died in the city of plague, and many of drouth In Sicilian quarries, and many by the spear and arrow And many more who told their lies too late Caught in the eternal factions and reactions Of the city-state. And free speech shivered on the pikes of Macedonia And later on the swords of Rome And Athens became a mere university city And the goddess born of the foam Became the kept hetaera, heroine of Menander, And the philosopher narrowed his focus, confined His efforts to putting his own soul in order And keeping a quiet mind.
March, 1939 Autumn Journal i Close and slow, summer is ending in Hampshire, Ebbing away down ramps of shaven lawn where close-clipped yew Insulates the lives of retired generals and admirals And the spyglasses hung in the hall and the prayer-books ready in the pew And August going out to the tin trumpets of nasturtiums And the sunflowers' Salvation Army blare of brass And the spinster sitting in a deck-chair picking up stitches Not raising her eyes to the noise of the 'planes that pass Northward from Lee-on-Solent.
But yet, my dear, if only for my own distraction, I have to try to assess Your beauty of body, your paradoxes of spirit, Even your taste in dress. Whose emotions are an intricate dialectic, Whose eagerness to live A many-sided life might be deplored as fickle, Unpractical, or merely inquisitive. A superficial comment; for your instinct Sanctions all you do, Who know that truth is nothing in abstraction, That action makes both wish and principle come true; Whose changes have the logic of a prism, Whose moods create, Who never linger haggling on the threshold, To weigh the pros and cons until it is too late.
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