Complete Poems of C.Day Lewis

Complete Poems of C.Day Lewis

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Together with Auden, Spender and MacNeice, C. Day Lewis was one of the leading young poets who in the 1930s broke away from the poetic establishment of those days. Day Lewis started writing poetry very young and, despite an active career which embraced schoolmastering , journalism, publishing, academic lecturing and the writing of detective stories, his devotion to poetry never wavered. Always prolife, he continued to write to the end of his days, so that when he died in 1972, having held the Chair of Poetry at Oxford from 1951 and 1956 and having been appointed Poet Laureate in 1968, he left behind a very large and varied body of work. Here, for the first time, are all the poems Day Lewis wrote, including the vers d'occasion which have never previously appeared in book form and a number of works which have only been published in a limited edition before now.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 134 x 216 x 49mm | 804g
  • Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1856191443
  • 9781856191449

Back cover copy

C. Day Lewis (1904-1972) was one of the leading young poets of the 1930's who - along with W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, and Stephen Spender - broke away from the staid poetic establishments to dominate British poetry in the middle third of the century. Here for the first time, are all the poems Day Lewis wrote, including occasional verse which has never appeared in book form and a number of poems previously published only in limited editions. The Complete Poems has been edited, with an introduction and textual notes by Jill Balcon, the poets widow.

"Day Lewis, poet laureate of England from 1968 to his death...had from early on, in addition to social outrage, a clear lyrical gift and imressive technical mastery. Even his propagandist poems rise above mere didacticsm or their own rhetoric...The Complete Poems shows the poet's development from 1925 to 1972. According to Balcon, the 1954 Collected Poems was not only incomplete but also poorly edited...This new edition is a welcome event, having all of Day Lewis's poetry - 15 books overall - in one place." - Choice

"The handsome new Complete Poems helps to clarify how the apparatus of the 1920's poet - late Georgian modulations of Keats, fitfully infused with a Yeatsian vigor - came to be adapted to the exigencies of the frontier-conscious new decade." - The Times Literary Supplement

"Day Lewis could write in any sort of style. Since the Romantic movement we have been so conditioned to the poet who finds and speaks in his own voice that we forget the larger and more ancient tradition of a poetry that is practiced by skill alone...The still lively fascination of his verse seems to depend on the variety of tones he could pick up, change, and discard at will...For anyone who likes poetry there is real interest here in the complete record." - New York Review of Books
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About C. Day Lewis

C. Day Lewis was born in Ireland ( and always cherished his Irish background) in 1904, and was educated at Sherborne School and Wadham College, Oxford. On leaving Oxford in 1927 he taught at various schools in England and Scotland until 1935, when he abandoned schoolmastering for good. By then he had published half a dozen volumes of verse, of which From Feathers to Iron and The Magnetic Mountain formed the basis of his reputation as one of the significant poets of the thirties. In 1946 he was invited to give the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, and from 1951-6 he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Two years later he became Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature. He was Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard in 1964-5 and held the Compton Lectureship in Poetry at Hull University. During all this time he continued steadily to write poetry. In 1968 he was appointed Poet Laureate, but tragically died of cancer only four years later.
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Rating details

24 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 33% (8)
4 33% (8)
3 29% (7)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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