Louis MacNeice Poems >>
I was born in Belfast between the mountain and the gantries
To the hooting of lost sirens and the clang of trams:
Thence to Smoky Carrick in County Antrim
Where the bottle-neck harbour collects the mud which jams
The little boats beneath the Norman castle,
The pier shining with lumps of crystal salt;
The Scotch Quarter was a line of residential houses
But the Irish Quarter was a slum for the blind and halt.
The brook ran yellow from the factory stinking of chlorine,
The yarn-milled called its funeral cry at noon;
Our lights looked over the Lough to the lights of Bangor
Under the peacock aura of a drowning moon.
The Norman walled this town against the country
To stop his ears to the yelping of his slave
And built a church in the form of a cross but denoting
The List of Christ on the cross, in the angle of the nave.
I was the rector's son, born to the Anglican order,
Banned for ever from the candles of the Irish poor;
The Chichesters knelt in marble at the end of a transept
With ruffs about their necks, their portion sure.
The war came and a huge camp of soldiers
Grew from the ground in sight of our house with long
Dummies hanging from gibbets for bayonet practice
And the sentry's challenge echoing all day long.
I went to school in Dorset, the world of parents
Contracted into a puppet world of sons
Far from the mill girls, the smell of porter, the salt mines
And the soldiers with their guns.
More Poetry from Louis MacNeice:
Louis MacNeice Poems based on Topics: Christianity, World, Louis Macneice Poems about Cry, Countries, Light, Soldiers, Jesus Christ, Sense & Perception, Sons, Parents, War & Peace
- Bagpipe Music (Louis MacNeice Poems)
- Prayer Before Birth (Louis MacNeice Poems)
- June Thunder (Louis MacNeice Poems)
- Autobiograph (Louis MacNeice Poems)
- The Suicide (Louis MacNeice Poems)
- Autobiography (Louis Macneice Poems)
Readers Who Like This Poem Also Like:
Based on Topics: World Poems, Light Poems, War & Peace Poems, Sense & Perception Poems, Christianity Poems, Cry Poems, Jesus Christ Poems, Sons Poems, Countries Poems, Soldiers Poems, Parents Poems
Based on Keywords: dorset, gibbets, ruffs, transept, carrick, jams, denoting, dummies, chlorine, bangor, belfast