Here, rendered the eloquent prose by one of our most distinguished critics of modern poetry, is the first full-length study of the poetry of C. Day Lewis, a book that introduces the reader to a profoundly revealing and beautifully wrought record of his poetry against the cultural and literary ferment of this century. Albert Gelpi explores in three expansive sections the major periods of the poet's development, beginning with the emergence of Day Lewis in the thirties as the most radical of the Oxford poets. An artist who sought through poetry a way of "living in time" without traditional religious assurances, Day Lewis went further than his friends in seeking to forge a revolutionary poetry out of his commitment to Marxism. When Stalinism led to his resignation from the Communist Party, Day Lewis in the forties went on to shape a rich, fiercely perceptive poetry out of the convergence of the wartime crisis with the explosive events of his own inner life, intensified by the erotics of a decade-long affair. Returning to his Irish roots and meditating on the persistent tension between agnosticism and faith in the work of his third and final period, Day Lewis wrote some of the most moving poems in the language about mortality and dying, the limits and possibilities of human striving.