Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Walk After Dark

W.H. Auden

Listen (to Auden read)

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 shamelesss 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.

Occuring 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.


Blogger Ludwig said...

Ah. Wandered over from Veena's. This is a muchly good idea. Wonder if you're aware of the Favorite Poem Project?

The website actually has a video clips of ordinary folk reading/reciting various favourite poems. Haven't listened to all of them (bandwidth being what it is), but Casey At The Bat and Politics were nice. Some other efforts seem to be afoot, but is there such a thing as too much of a good thing?

1/18/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger The Black Mamba said...

Thanks Ludwig.

I did come across this site recently, from Gitanjali was interesting too. The nice thing about the site is, that they have a story to go with each poem.

Always on the lookout for others doing similar or better stuff.

1/18/2006 02:21:00 PM  

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