Wystan Hugh Auden
Comments about Wystan Hugh Auden
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, ...
As We Like It
Certainly our city with its byres of poverty down to
The river's edge, its cathedral, its engines, its dogs;
Here is the cosmopolitan cooking
And the light alloys and the glass.
Built by the conscience-stricken, the weapon-making,
By us. Wild rumours woo and terrify the crowd,
Woo us. Betrayers thunder at, blackmail
Us. But where now are They.