Day-Lewis, Cecil

Cecil Day-Lewis
Cecil Day-Lewis. Image source

Cecil Day-Lewis was born in Ballintubbert, County Laois, in 1904.

After his mother died in 1906, his father brought him to London, and was raised by his father and an aunt. Summers were spent with relatives in Co Wexford.

In Oxford he met Auden and became part of his circle, helping Auden to edit Oxford Poetry 1927.

After the war he became a British citizen and later Poet Laureate.

His poetry collections include Beechen Vigil (London, Fortune Press, 1925); Transitional Poem (London,The Hogarth Press, 1929) From Feathers to Iron (The Hogart Press, Hogarth Living Poets. no. 22. 1932); Collected Poems 1929–1933 (Hogarth Press, 1935); A Time To Dance And Other Poems (Hogarth Press, 1935); Overtures to Death (London, Jonathan Cape, 1938); Short is the Time: Poems 1936-1943 (New York, Oxford Univsity Press, 1945); Poems 1943-1947 (London, Jonathan Cape, 1948); Collected Poems (London, Jonathan Cape/Hogarth Press, 1954); Pegasus and Other Poems (1957); The Gate & Other Poems (Jonathan Cape, 1962); The Room & Other Poems (Jonathan Cape, 1965); The Whispering Roots and Other Poems (1970); and The Complete Poems of C. Day Lewis (ed. Jill Balcon, Stanford University Press, 1995).

His essays and published lectures include A Hope for Poetry (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1934); The Poetic Image. The Clark Lectures, Cambridge, 1946 (Jonathan Cape, 1947); and The Poet’s Way of Knowledge: The Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture delivered in October, 1956 (Cambridge University Press, 1957).

His translations include Virgil’s Georgics (Jonathan Cape, 1940); Virgil’s Aeneid (Jonathan Cape, 1952); and The Eclogues of Virgil (Jonathan Cape, 1963).

He is the father of the actor Daniel Day-Lewis, and the food writer Tamasin Day-Lewis. Another son, Sean Day-Lewis. wrote a biography of him, C. Day Lewis: An English Literary Life (Littlehampton Book Services Ltd. 1980).

Under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake, he wrote more than twenty thrillers.

He died in Hertfordshire, England, at the home of Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard where he and his wife were staying, in 1972.

Cecil Day-Lewis at The Poetry Foundation

Obituary of Cecil Day-Lewis’s wife, Jill Balcon

Cecil Day-Lewis at The National Library of Ireland

Cecil Day Lewis Reads “Passages from the Georgics”

Cecil Day Lewis reads four of his poems

Uploaded by EMGColonel on Apr 15, 2011