I was told that Charles Causley wrote a poem on the way home from the funeral of Louis Macneice. The fellow that mentioned it to me couldn't remember the title¹ but he wanted to read it again.

¹Perhaps this would make Causley happy.

1 Answer 1


I believe it is called, rather unsurprisingly, Death of a Poet. Firstly, the poem appeared in an anthology of poetry of his written between 1951 and 1975, and since MacNeice died in 1963, this is the right time frame. The contents of this collection as listed in Google Books includes Death of a Poet which seemed to me a reasonable title.

A search produced this forum page which seems to confirm this and points to the Penguin Anthology Worlds, but I couldn't find this anthology:

According to the notes in the Penguin anthology 'Worlds', [Causley's 'Death of a Poet']'s about Louis MacNiece [sic].

On the other hand, the Causley Trust also points to this same poem saying

Death of a Poet also reverberates with MacNeice, not just prescribing his own funeral and pallbearers, a common enough ‘folk’ thing to do, but with Charles’s the parson boomed echoing Louis’s My father made the walls resound/ He wore his collar the wrong way round…

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    Fun fact: Causley himself had a poem entitled "Death of a Poet" written about him by a friend after his death. (I found this while hunting for the full text of Causley's own poem "Death of a Poet". Have you been able to find that?)
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 22, 2018 at 0:48
  • I did find the one about Causley but when I read the second quote, I was skimming and assumed it referred to that one.
    – WGroleau
    May 22, 2018 at 4:57

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