This second posthumous Collected Poems, entirely re-edited by Peter McDonald, attempts for the first time to print MacNeice’s poetry in groupings corresponding closely to the collections published by Faber between 1935 and 1963. The texts of the poems in the new edition are based on a comparison of all printed versions, as revised in the light of the poet’s later thoughts. This has resulted in a large number of changes. It is hoped that the present edition presents MacNeice’s poetry more accurately, as well as more fully, than all previous collections.
This new edition also includes, as appendices, ‘The Last Ditch’ – the short book of poems which MacNeice published with the Cuala Press in 1940 – and ‘The Revenant’, a cycle of songs written for MacNeice’s wife, the singer Hedli Anderson, a selection of uncollected early poems, and from ‘Blind Fireworks’, MacNeice’s first published book of verse.