The Earth Compels Poems by Louis MacNiece


The Earth Compels” was the second poetry collection by Louis MacNeice, and was one of four books by Louis MacNeice to appear in 1938, along with “I Crossed the Minch”, “Modern Poetry: A Personal Essay” and “Zoo.” The first edition of “The Earth Compels” has the following description on the flap of the dust jacket: “Mr. MacNeice’s position as a poet was incontestably established in 1935 by his first volume of Poems. He is one of the few poets to-day none of whose poems could have been written by anyone else. His second volume has been awaited for some time: now that it has arrived, it needs no advertisement.” “The Earth Compels” is dedicated “To NANCY” (Nancy Coldstream, later Nancy Spender, with whom Louis MacNeice had an affair during 1937-38), and has an epigraph from a Greek tragedy MacNeice was then translating, Euripides’ Hippolytus. According to Jon Stallworthy, in his biography of Louis MacNeice, the epigraph may be roughly translated: ‘We are manifestly all obsessively in love with this thing that glitters on the earth.’ Jon Stallworthy gives the following summary of “The Earth Compels:” “The book offers an impressionistic picture of a journey from brightness, ‘The Sunlight on the Garden’ (from which poem its title is taken), towards darkness; from Carrickfergus to Iceland and the Hebrides; from peace – by way of one World War – into the advancing shadows of another.”‘ [Wiki] ***’It would be difficult to name half a dozen living poets who surpass him at his best. “The Earth Compels” is a distinguished addition to contemporary verse.’

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A hardcover edition with ochre-coloured boards, gilt lettering and clipped illustrated dust cover. There is foxing and toning throughout but the text is clear and legible. The dust jacket has some tearing and rubbing, mainly along the spine and edges. There is a previous seller’s paper label on the inside front cover. There is also a stain  (see photos) below the author’s name on the front cover. This book has therefore been priced according to condition.

Covered in clear, removable plastic to protect from damage.

Publisher: Faber. and Faber Limited, London.

Publication Date: Third impression 1948 ( after being first published in 1938)

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Weight 0.230 kg
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