Wystan Hugh Auden 1907 - 1973

Wystan Hugh Auden 1907 - 1973

Wystan Hugh Auden 1907 - 1973 the man I consider the greatest mind of the 20th century: Wystan Hugh Auden being brought up on essentially emphatic and self-asserting diet of Russian verse, I was quick to register this recipe whose main component was self-restraint neutrality of tone was very much a feature of Audens poetry Auden was a metaphysical poet, a man of terrific lyrical gifts who disguised himself as an observer of public mores SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright

And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book,

The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home;

Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work,' And helpless governors wake

To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them

Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame. 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 crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves. He was me 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. ..

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 crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves. He was me 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. , , . ; . , , ,

, . , , , , , , , . , , . . . , , . . In Memory of W. B. Yeats He disappeared in the dead of winter: The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, And snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. Far from his illness The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests, The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays; By mourning tongues

The death of the poet was kept from his poems. But for him it was his last afternoon as himself, An afternoon of nurses and rumours; The provinces of his body revolted, The squares of his mind were empty, Silence invaded the suburbs, The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers. He disappeared in the dead of winter: The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, And snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. Far from his illness The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests, The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays; By mourning tongues The death of the poet was kept from his poems. But for him it was his last afternoon as himself, An afternoon of nurses and rumours; The provinces of his body revolted, The squares of his mind were empty,

Silence invaded the suburbs, The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers. Now he is scattered among a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections, To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience. The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living. But in the importance and noise of to-morrow When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse, And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed, And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom, A few thousand will think of this day As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual. What instruments we have agree The day of his death was a dark cold day. THE UNKNOWN CITIZEN (To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State) He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be One against whom there was no official complaint, And all the reports on his conduct agree

That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word he was a saint, For in everything he did he served the Greater Community Except for the War till the day he retired He worked in a factory and never got fired, But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc. Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views, For his Union reports that he paid his dues, (Our report on his Union shows it was sound) And our Social Psychology workers found That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured. Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare He was fully sensible to advantages of the Instalment Plan And had everything necessary to the Modern Man, A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire. Our researchers into Public Opinion are content That he held the proper opinions for the time of yearWhen there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war he went. He was married and added children to the population Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent his generation,

And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education. Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurdHad anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard. THE UNKNOWN CITIZEN (To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State) He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be One against whom there was no official complaint, And all the reports on his conduct agree That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word he was a saint, For in everything he did he served the Greater Community Except for the War till the day he retired He worked in a factory and never got fired, But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc. Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views, For his Union reports that he paid his dues, (Our report on his Union shows it was sound) And our Social Psychology workers found That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way

Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured. /07//378 , , : , . ( ) . - : , , . ( ), , . ,

, , , , . . Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare He was fully sensible to advantages of the Instalment Plan And had everything necessary to the Modern Man, A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire. Our researchers into Public Opinion are content That he held the proper opinions for the time of yearWhen there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war he went. He was married and added children to the population Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent his generation, And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education. Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurdHad anything been wrong, we should certainly have

heard. , , , , , , . , : , . , , . , . ? ? : , . DANCE MACABRE It`s farewell to the drawing-room`s civilized cry, The professor`s sensible whereto and why,

The frock-coated diplomat`s aplomb, Now matters and settled with gas and with bomb. The works for two pianos, the brilliant stories, Of reasonable giants and remarkable fairies, The pictures, the ointments, the frangible wares And the branches of olive are stored upstairs. For the Devil has broken parole and arisen, He has dynamited his way out of prison, Out of the well where his Papa throws The rebel angel, outcast rose. Millions already have come to their harm, Succumbing like doves to his adder`s charm; Hundreds of trees in the world are unsound: I`m the axe that must cut them down to the ground. For I, after all, am Fortunate One, The Happy-Go-Lucky, the spoiled Third Son; For me it is written the Devil to chase And to rid the earth of the human race. The behaving of man is world of horror, A sedentary Sodom and slick Gomorrah; I must take charge of the liquid fire And storm the cities of human desire.

I shall come, I shall punish, the Devil be dead, I shall have caviare thick on my bread, I shall build myself a cathedral for home With a vacuum-cleaner in every room. For it`s order and trumpet and anger and drum And power and glory command you to come; The graves shall fly open and let you all in, And the earth shall be empied of mortal sin. The fishes are silent deep in the sea, The sky are lit up like a Christmas tree, The star in the West shoots its warning cry: Mankind is alive, but mankind must die. So good-bye to the house with its wallpaper red, Good-bye to the sheets on the warm double bed, Good-bye the beautiful birds on the wall, It`s good-bye, dear heart, good-bye to you all. . DANCE MACABRE

It`s farewell to the drawing-room`s civilized cry, The professor`s sensible whereto and why, The frock-coated diplomat`s aplomb, Now matters and settled with gas and with bomb. , , . : . The works for two pianos, the brilliant stories, Of reasonable giants and remarkable fairies, The pictures, the ointmens, the frangible wares And the branches of olive are stored upstairs. , , -, , , . For the Devil has broken parole and arisen, He has dynamited his way out of prison, Out of the well where his Papa throws

The rebel angel, outcast rose. . , , - . Millions already have come to their harm, Succumbing like doves to his adder`s charm; Hundreds of trees in the world are unsound: I`m the axe that must cut them down to the ground. , , , . : , . For I, after all, am Fortunate One, The Happy-Go-Lucky, the spoiled Third Son; For me it is written the Devil to chase And to rid the earth of the human race. .

. . . ? -! The behaving of man is world of horror, A sedentary Sodom and slick Gomorrah; I must take charge of the liquid fire And storm the cities of human desire. , , , . . . I shall come, I shall punish, the Devil be dead, I shall have caviare thick on my bread, I shall build myself a cathedral for home With a vacuum-cleaner in every room. . . . .

For it`s order and trumpet and anger and drum And power and glory command you to come; The graves shall fly open and let you all in, And the earth shall be empied of mortal sin. , , , . The fishes are silent deep in the sea, The sky are lit up like a Christmas tree, The star in the West shoots its warning cry: Mankind is alive, but mankind must die. . , , . -: So good-bye to the house with its wallpaper red, , Good-bye to the sheets on the warm double bed, . Good-bye the beautiful birds on the wall,

It`s good-bye, dear heart, good-bye to you all. : , , , . , , .

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