Cecil Day Lewis (April 27, 1904 –May 22, 1972) was an Anglo-Irish poet and the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1968 until his death in 1972. He also wrote mystery stories under the pseudonym of Nicholas Blake. Day Lewis was born in Ireland and educated at Sherborne School and at Wadham College, Oxford. In Oxford, Day Lewis became part of the circle gathered around W. H. Auden and helped him to edit Oxford Poetry 1927. His first collection of poems, Beechen Vigil, appeared in 1925. Some critics believe that he reached his full stature as a poet in Word Over All (1943), when he finally distanced himself from Auden.
After World War II, Day Lewis joined the publisher Chatto & Windus as a director and senior editor. In 1946, he was a lecturer at Cambridge University, publishing his lectures in The Poetic Image (1947). He later taught poetry at Oxford, where he was Professor of Poetry from 1951-1956. From 1962-63, he was the Norton Professor at Harvard University. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1968. Day Lewis was also chairman of the Arts Council Literature Panel, vice-president of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Member of the Irish Academy of Letters and a professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London. Day Lewis died from pancreatic cancer on May 22, 1972.
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