Every so often I stumble across or revisit some exceptional writing, verse and prose, that latches itself to heart and soul here and again, reminding me how perfectly life, time, and uncommon love can reassure. These two I share are favorites when heart is full, or heavy, or alone.
Isn’t it true
however far we’ve wandered
into our provinces of persecution,
where our regrets accuse,
we keep returning
back to the common faith
from which we’ve all dissented,
back to the hands, the feet, the faces?
Children are always there
and take the hands,
even when they are most terrified.
Those in love
cannot make up their minds
to go or stay.
Artist and doctor return most often.
Only the mad will never, never come back.
For doctors keep on worrying while away,
in case their skill is suffering or deserted.
Lovers have lived so long with giants and elves,
they want belief again in their own size.
And the artist prays ever so gently,
let me find pure all that can happen.
Only uniqueness is success.
For instance let me perceive
the images of history.
All that I push away
with doubt and travel,
today’s and yesterdays alike, like bodies.
—- Letters from Iceland, W.H. Auden
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
—- The More Loving One, W.H. Auden
Do you have a favorite Auden piece? Share them below. It isn’t enough to just gaze. Let’s taste and savor up the emotions Auden stirs. Please.
Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always