April 22, 2009

A Walk After Dark

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Let the delightful words of this beautiful poem,
charm and inspire your busy day.


--Description: 20th C, Auden W., Nature, Night--



A cloudless night like this
Can set the spirit soaring:
After a tiring day
The clockwork spectacle is
Impressive in a slightly boring
Eighteenth-century way.

It soothed adolescence a lot
To meet so shameless a stare;
The things I did could not
Be so shocking as they said
If that would still be there
After the shocked were dead

Now, unready to die
Bur already at the stage
When one starts to resent the young,
I am glad those points in the sky
May also be counted among
The creatures of middle-age.

It's cosier thinking of night
As more an Old People's Home
Than a shed for a faultless machine,
That the red pre-Cambrian light
Is gone like Imperial Rome
Or myself at seventeen.

Yet however much we may like
The stoic manner in which
The classical authors wrote,
Only the young and rich
Have the nerve or the figure to strike
The lacrimae rerum note.

For the present stalks abroad
Like the past and its wronged again
Whimper and are ignored,
And the truth cannot be hid;
Somebody chose their pain,
What needn't have happened did.

Occurring this very night
By no established rule,
Some event may already have hurled
Its first little No at the right
Of the laws we accept to school
Our post-diluvian world:

But the stars burn on overhead,
Unconscious of final ends,
As I walk home to bed,
Asking what judgment waits
My person, all my friends,
And these United States.


W. H. Auden


--Did You Know: Auden's work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content

--Word of the Day: pedant \PED-nt\, noun
Meaning: A person who makes a show of detailed knowledge, esp. relying on books; also, a narrow-minded teacher or scholar.
Example: Yet Eyton is no little pedant; he confesses frankly that for a boy of 9 he does not know much Greek, though his Latin is adequate.
(Robertson Davies, Speaking Of Books, New York Times, February 14, 1962)

--Quote of the Day: If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.
(George Eliot)

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