C. Day Lewis

Day Lewis, C.

C. Day Lewis: (Cecil Day Lewis), 1904–72, English author, b. Ireland. While he was still at Oxford, he became associated with a group of leftist poets led by W. H. Auden. After graduation he taught at various schools until 1935 and then decided to devote himself to writing. He was professor of poetry at Oxford from 1951 to 1956. Included among his volumes of poetry are Collected Poems 1929–1933 (1935), Overtures to Death (1938), Short Is the Time (1945), Collected Poems (1954), Pegasus and Other Poems (1957), and The Whispering Roots and Other Poems (1970). Lewis was a member of the Communist party from 1935 to 1938, and his early poetry is marked by didacticism and a preoccupation with social themes. His later work, however, is more personal and metaphysical. Besides poetry, C. Day Lewis is noted for the collection of essays A Hope for Poetry (1934); for a verse translation of Vergil's Aeneid (1952); and for detective stories written under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake. From 1967 to 1972 he was poet laureate of Great Britain.

See his autobiography, The Buried Day (1960); biography by J. N. Riddel (1971).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

C. Day Lewis: Selected full-text books and articles

C. Day Lewis By Clifford Dyment Longmans, Green, 1955
Living in Time: The Poetry of C. Day Lewis By Albert Gelpi Oxford University Press, 1998
Short Is the Time: Poems 1936-1943 By C. Day Lewis Oxford University Press, 1945
Poems: 1943-1947 By C. Day Lewis Oxford Univ. Press, 1948
An Italian Visit By C. Day Lewis J. Cape, 1953
The Poetic Image By C. Day Lewis Oxford University Press, 1947
Men and Women Writers of the 1930s: The Dangerous Flood of History By Janet Montefiore Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of C. Day Lewis begins on p. 81
Poetry and the Modern World: A Study of Poetry in England between 1900 and 1939 By David Daiches University of Chicago Press, 1940
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IX "Poetry in the 1930's: Cecil Day Lewis"
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