PDA

View Full Version : The Poetry of W. H. Auden



Sigrun Christianson
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crÍpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Sigrun Christianson
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

Sigrun Christianson
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 06:09 PM
Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit's carnal ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find our mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

symmakhos
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 06:44 PM
When I woke into life, a sobbing dwarf

Whom giants served only as they pleased, I was not what I seemed;
Beyond their busy backs I made a magic
To ride away from a father's imperfect justice,
Take vengeance on the Romans for their grammar,
Usurp the popular earth and blot out for ever
The gross insult of being a mere one among many:
Now, Ariel, I am that I am, your late and lonely master,
Who knows now what magic is;--the power to enchant
That comes from disillusion. What the books can teach one
Is that most desires end up in stinking ponds,
But we have only to learn to sit still and give no orders,
To make you offer us your echo and your mirror;
We have only to believe you, then you dare not lie;
To ask for nothing, and at once from your calm eyes,
With their lucid proof of apprehension and disorder,
All we are not stares back at what we are. For all things
In your company, can be themselves: historic deeds
Drop their hauteur and speak of shaddy childhoods
When all they longed for was to join in the gang of doubts
Who so tormented them; sullen diseases
Forget their dreadful appearance and make silly jokes;
Thick-headed goodness for once is not a bore.
No one but you had sufficient audacity and eysight
To find those clearings where the shy humiliations
Gambol on sunny afternoons, the waterhole to which
The scarred rouge sorrow comes quietly in the small hours:
And no one but you is reliably informative on hell;
As you whistle and skip part, the poisonous
Resentments scuttle over your unrevolted feet,
And even the uncontrollable vertigo,
Because it can scent no shame, is unobliged to strike.

Sigrun Christianson
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 06:48 PM
Beautiful. :)

It's nice to meet another Auden fan. :)

symmakhos
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 06:51 PM
It's nice to meet another Auden fan. :)
I must say the same, Sigrun! I hadn't expected to find one in a "racist" board. I'm sure you know he's a homosexual?

Sigrun Christianson
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 07:02 PM
I must say the same, Sigrun! I hadn't expected to find one in a "racist" board. I'm sure you know he's a homosexual?Yes, I know he was. So was Oscar Wilde, another of my all-time favs. What can I say? No one is perfect. :D

I don't think their homosexuality negates their work.

symmakhos
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 07:11 PM
Yes, I know he was. So was Oscar Wilde, another of my all-time favs. What can I say? No one is perfect. :D

I don't think their homosexuality negates their work.
Nor do I. As for homosexuals, Marcel Proust and Camille Paglia are also on our side (I do hope we are on the same side? :viking ).

Sigrun Christianson
Monday, April 12th, 2004, 07:32 PM
I'm not familiar with Marcel Proust, but Camille Paglia is quite the antagonist, isn't she? I can't help but like her.. haha...

Several years ago when I was in college, I did a paper that included a lot of Paglia's comments and critiques of modern feminist doctrine and specifically Andrea Dworkin. My professor for that class was a homosexual. Although he liked my paper a lot and gave me high marks, I've often wondered if he, being a homosexual male, could really grasp the nuances of a feminist debate. I think that makes me a chauvinist. :)

symmakhos
Tuesday, April 20th, 2004, 03:39 AM
I'm not familiar with Marcel Proust, but Camille Paglia is quite the antagonist, isn't she? I can't help but like her.. haha...

Several years ago when I was in college, I did a paper that included a lot of Paglia's comments and critiques of modern feminist doctrine and specifically Andrea Dworkin. My professor for that class was a homosexual. Although he liked my paper a lot and gave me high marks, I've often wondered if he, being a homosexual male, could really grasp the nuances of a feminist debate. I think that makes me a chauvinist. :)
I think "chauvinist" is exclusively about nationalism, but you might have been a "bigot" or a "homophobic" or whatever. Anyway, did you support Paglia againt Dworkin in your paper? And how can you post on this board, and also support "Women for Aryan Unity", and be ashamed of liking Camilla Paglia? :) :negro

I think your professor might have been in a good position to grasp the Feminist debate since he was, as a homosexual, perfectly unbiased in the matter... unlike us heterosexual suckers who has to battle with females who claim they are "feminists", but on the other hand openly claim that their homegrown men are "boring" and prefer to sleep with southern mud races who have not yet heard of feminism.

Well, sorry about the bitter rantings which actually concerned my ex and her friends.