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Poetry Magnum Opus

The Master


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Last in, first out

Is what they used say

In the factories: the layoffs

Sensed before they happened.


And in Belfast, at H & W

Where they built the Titanic,

The Taigs would go first.

The natural order.


I think more and more

Of Louis MacNeice.

If there is any poet in the world,

He is the closest to my soul.


Protean, entirely unimpressed,

Shouldering the black guilt of Ulster

And simultaneously shrugging it off,

Every poem a new beginning.


Auden felt awe as his powers failed.

Spender more or less had given up.

Only Dylan Thomas ploughed on,

Sound-intoxicated, incomprehensible.


Larkin, I think, had little to say.

Heaney, Longley and Paul Muldoon

Owe Northern debts of gratitude,

As so, in my Southern way, do I.


A sample of MacNeice: http://dublinerinjapan.blogspot.jp/2004/07/louis-macneice-dangerously-good-poem.html

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Somewhere between a tribute and a self-portrait. I checked out MacNeice in your link and liked his poem, especially the latter part of it (from "Glasgow" on). I see similarities in content and style and can appreciate that you identify with him. Enjoyed The Master(s).


Tony :wink:

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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  • 2 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

Hi Brendan, I liked this whirlwind tour through the Lists. Tony's commentary was so insightful (and true, to my own thinking - apologies if we are wrong), that I will not add to it. I will say that your link took me to a MacNiece composition with which I was not previously familiar. There is a need for such work, but I am actually more moved and taken by some of his other pieces, such as


June Thunder: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/june-thunder/

Star-Gazer: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/star-gazer/

Wolves: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/wolves/

Entirely: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse/56/2#20582119


to name a few. Count me as an admirer, especially of his more thoughtful stuff.


By the way, I agree with your assessment of old Dylan. Why the devil did he have to go incomprehensible on everyone? So much talent, why did he lock most of us out of the inner concert?


- David

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

I can see the style comparrisons. count me in as a fan also. the poem of course is splendid.



Larsen M. Callirhoe

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