Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Shock

W.H. Auden (1972)

Housman was perfectly right:
our world rapidly worsens.
Nothing now is so horrid
or silly it can't occur;
still, I'm stumped by what happened
to upper-middle-class me,
born in '07, that is,
the same time as "Elektra,"
gun-shy, myopic grandchild
of Anglican clergymen,
suspicious of all passion,
including passionate love,
daydreaming of leafy dells
that shelter carefree shepherds,
averse to violent weather,
pained by the predator beasts,
shocked by boxing and blood sports,
when I, I, I, if you please,
at Schwechat Flughafen was
frisked by a cop for weapons.

1 comment:

dan said...

from The New Yorker March 18, 1972

I looked for a W.H. Auden poem after coming across this article on aldaily.com. The article references this poem:

Under Which Lyre

last stanza:

Thou shalt not live within thy means
Nor on plain water and raw greens.
If thou must choose
Between the chances, choose the odd;
Read The New Yorker, trust in God;
And take short views.