Louis MacNeice is buried in the Church of Ireland Church, Carrowdore, Co.Down, Northern
Ireland. (Carrowdore is a small village on the Ards Peninsula on the east coast of Co. Down.)
Gravestone of Louis MacNeice
MacNeice died unexpectedly of pneumonia in 1963 following a visit
to a damp cave in Yorkshire. He had been undertaking research for one of his
own radio plays.
He is buried beside his mother (who died of TB when he was a
child) and his grandfather.
MacNeice was born in Belfast and was the son of the rector of
Trinity (later bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore). His family later moved to
Carrickfergus in Co. Antrim. MacNeice's famous poem Carrickfergus vividly
recalls his childhood here.
Photographs by Bill
During the 1930s and 1940s he was closely linked with fellow poets
W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and
Cecil Day-Lewis and Roy Campbell nicknamed
them collectively MacSpaunday. However, MacNeice's reputation was
overshadowed by that of Auden.
liked to celebrate, what he called, 'the drunkenness of things being various' (a
line from his poem Snow). His poetry also frequently employed assonance and
internal rhyme eg River in Spate.
Fellow Ulster poet Derek Mahon wrote an elegy for MacNeice
entitled: In Carrowdore Churchyard. MacNeice's work also influenced other
Northern Ireland poets including Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon.
The Burning Perch, MacNeice's last collection, was published a few
days after his death.