I’ve always thought that MacNeice had limitations of temperament. He sometimes seems to be writing a jazzy, crazy kind of poetry, but when you look closer you realize that it’s always perfectly controlled. Inside MacNeice there was always an academic scholar pulling in the rein. He was actually a very reticent man. In his autobiography, he reveals that his mother went mad when he was very young, and I think that the effect of this was to repress his emotional life and to make him avoid at all costs the confessional.