cecil-day-lewis

Cecil Day Lewis, London, 1950 -by Irving Penn

Is it far to go?
A step - no further.
Is it hard to go?
Ask the melting snow,
The eddying feather.

What can I take there?
Not a hank, not a hair.
What shall I leave behind?
Ask the hastening wind,
The fainting star.

Shall I be gone long?
For ever and a day.
To whom there belong?
Ask the stone to say,
Ask my song.

Who will say farewell?
The beating bell.
Will anyone miss me?
That I dare not tell -
Quick, Rose, and kiss me.

– C. Day Lewis, in Poems 1943-1947

photo from liveauctionners
quote from cday-lewis - Official Website

“No good poem, however confessional it may be, is just a self-expression. Who on earth would claim that the pearl expresses the oyster?”
–C. Day Lewis

Irish-born poet, critic, detective-story writer, British poet laureate in the 1960s Cecil Day Lewis was born today in 1904 (d.1972). He is the father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

(Photo: Cecil Day-Lewis photographed by Irving Penn for Vogue in 1951.)

Happy Birthday, Cecil Day Lewis, born 27 April 1904, died 22 May 1972

Three Quotes

  1. First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it.
  2. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.
  3. There’s a kind of release And a kind of torment in every goodbye for every man.

Cecil Day Lewis was an Anglo-Irish poet and the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1968 until his death in 1972. He also wrote mystery stories under the pseudonym of Nicholas Blake. He is the father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis, journalist Tamasin Day-Lewis, and writer Sean Day-Lewis. In his autobiography The Buried Day, he wrote, ‘As a writer I do not use the hyphen in my surname – a piece of inverted snobbery which has produced rather mixed results…’

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

Children Leaving Home
  • Children Leaving Home
  • Sir Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Poetry for the Palace: Poets Laureate from Dryden to Duffy
Play

Children Leaving Home
by Cecil Day-Lewis
Poet Laureate 1968-72

Read by his son Sir Daniel Day-Lewis
Recorded in New York, April 2014

To accompany the exhibition
Poetry for the Palace: Poets Laureate from Dryden to Duffy
7 August - 2 November 2014
The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse

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3

“We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.”

Cecil Day-Lewis, father of Daniel Day-Lewis died on 22 May 1972 at Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire, England. He was a British poet and the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1968 until his death. He also wrote mystery stories under the pseudonym of Nicholas Blake.

Come, live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
Of peace and plenty, bed and board,
That chance employment may afford.

I’ll handle dainties on the docks
And thou shalt read of summer frocks:
At evening by the sour canals
We’ll hope to hear some madrigals.

Care on thy maiden brow shall put
A wreath of wrinkles, and thy foot
Be shod with pain: not silken dress
But toil shall tire thy loveliness.

Hunger shall make thy modest zone
And cheat fond death of all but bone –
If these delight thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

– Cecil Day Lewis

Walking Away by C. Day-Lewis

For Sean

It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day -
A sunny day with the leaves just turning,         
The touch-lines new-ruled - since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away


Behind a scatter of boys. I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.


That hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem,
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take - the small, the scorching 
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.


I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still.  Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show -
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.