Archive for the ‘W.H. Auden’ Tag

Mt. Lemmon Fall Colors, A Gift From The Mountain Gods   1 comment

Aspen Trail -- 10-22-12Mt. Lemmon Fall Colors, A Gift From The Mountain Gods
— Photo-Artistry by kenne

Autumn Song   

Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse’s flowers will not last;
Nurses to the graves are gone,
And the prams go rolling on.

Whispering neighbours, left and right,
Pluck us from the real delight;
And the active hands must freeze
Lonely on the separate knees.

Dead in hundreds at the back
Follow wooden in our track,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.

Starving through the leafless wood
Trolls run scolding for their food;
And the nightingale is dumb,
And the angel will not come.

Cold, impossible, ahead
Lifts the mountain’s lovely head
Whose white waterfall could bless
Travellers in their last distress.

— W. H. Auden

 

W. H. Auden at 103 — Musee des Beaux Arts at 70   Leave a comment

“Fall of Icarus” by Breughel

Brother Tom will often uses the birthday or anniversary of a favorite author to share his love. This past Sunday I received this:

Today is the birthday of W.H. Auden ( 1907…died at 66 yrs)…. I have always enjoyed this poem of his, “MUSEE des Beaux Arts”; 1940

“MUSEE des Beaux Arts”

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

A great poet’s reflection on apathy, a fundamental part of the human condition.

Thank you, Tom.

kenne

Posted February 23, 2010 by kenneturner in Art, Poetry

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