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"Entirely" by Louis MacNeice

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Elaine Greiner

on 21 September 2015

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Transcript of "Entirely" by Louis MacNeice

"Entirely" by Louis MacNeice Poem Analysis
Louis MacNeice
Poems written throughout 1930's and 40's
Mother died at young age
Brother is handicap
Rough childhood but found his way through poetry and playwriting
Stanza one, line 5-8,
"When we try to eavesdrop on the great/Presences it is rarely/ That by a stroke of luck we can appropriate a phrase entirely"
The literal meaning of these lines is to show that not a single person can get everything perfectly, even an overheard conversation.
Theme of stanza is to share the imperfections of life and to show that it may take too long to actually get the hang of life.
Stanza three, lines 5-8,
"But, as it is, the spearks each year go through/ Our flesh and almost hourly/ Bell of siren banishes the blue/ Eyes of love entirely"
Explains that society lets the bells and alarms of life get in the way. People use the alarms as an excuse to not venture deeper into life and explore new experiences.
Purpose of poem is to inform readers that life must not be perfected, the only key to life is to see where it takes you.
Tone- Cheerful and peppy, MacNiece writes as though he has experience and wants to share his wisdom with audience
Personification- "tigerish waters" "yammering fire alarms"
Repetition of "entirely" at end of every stanza
Diction is smooth and flows from line to line
Full transcript