September 3, 1963

Poet Louis MacNeice died of pneumonia on this day in 1963. Born on September 12, 1907 in Belfast, and went on to study classics and philosophy at Oxford. He taught at the University of Birmingham and later at Bedford College for Women before taking a job at the British Broadcasting Company, as a staff writer and producer. As was common for English poets at the time, MacNeice found an audience for his writing through the radio. Though he was identified with a group of politically committed poets early on in his career, he was actually very mistrustful of politics and of philosophical systems. “My sympathies are Left,” he once wrote. “But not in my heart or my guts.”

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