Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Does Youth Matter that Much?

On the topic of WH Auden, famous Anglo American poet and writer of the 20th century. Someone commented recently to me, that upon 'finishing' the 'English Auden' collection, which of course, contains most if not all of his prior work, that they actually preferred his later work. Now this is obviously a subjective decision, and I beg to differ. 'The Wanderer' is an example of a poem which is brimming with genius.

Doom is dark and deeper than any sea-dingle. Upon what man it fall In spring, day-wishing flowers appearing, Avalanche sliding, white snow from rock-face, That he should leave his house, No cloud-soft hand can hold him, restraint by women; But ever that man goes Through place-keepers, through forest trees, A stranger to strangers over undried sea, Houses for fishes, suffocating water, Or lonely on fell as chat, By pot-holed becks A bird stone-haunting, an unquiet bird. There head falls forward, fatigued at evening, And dreams of home, Waving from window, spread of welcome, Kissing of wife under single sheet; But waking sees Bird-flocks nameless to him, through doorway voices Of new men making another love. Save him from hostile capture, From sudden tiger's leap at corner; Protect his house, His anxious house where days are counted From thunderbolt protect, From gradual ruin spreading like a stain; Converting number from vague to certain, Bring joy, bring day of his returning, Lucky with day approaching, with leaning dawn.

This, incidentally, whilst being a fine poem, is not my favourite. Visit for more. And I apologise for the messy layout but I am not, as some are, a HTML expert, by any means.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:21 pm  

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