Louis MacNeice


If we could get the hang of it entirely

It would take too long

All we know is the splash of words in passing

And falling twigs of song

And when we try to eavesdrop on the great

Presences it is rarely

That by a stroke of luck we can appropriate

Even a phrase entirely.

If we could find our happiness entirely

In somebody else's arms

We should not fear the spears of the spring nor the city's

Yammering fire alarms

But, as it is, the spears each year go through

Our flesh and almost hourly

Bell or siren banishes the blue

Eyes of Love entirely.

And if the world were black or white entirely

And all the charts were plain

Instead of a mad weir of tigerish waters

A prism of delight and pain

We might be surer where we wished to go

Or again we might be merely

Bored but in brute reality there is no

Road that is right entirely.


The theme of this poem is "Live life with no regrets" and live any way that makes you happy because in the end "there is no road that is right entirely".
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About The Author

Frederick Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) was an Irish poet and a playwright. He attended Marlborough College and Oxford University. Next, he was offered a position as Assistant Lecturer in Classics at the University of Birmingham. From there, MacNeice left Birmingham for a lecturing post in the Department of Greek at Bedford College for Women, part of the University of London. In early 1941, MacNeice was employed by the BBC. He died of viral pneumonia at age 55. He has inspired many poets since his death, particularly those from Northern Ireland such as Paul Muldoon and Michael Longley.
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