Auden, published by Random House. Auden, renewed by the Estate of W.
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American Poets Magazine. Poems Find and share the perfect poems. In Memory of W. I He disappeared in the dead of winter: The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted, And snow disfigured the public statues; The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
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II You were silly like us; your gift survived it all: The parish of rich women, physical decay, Yourself. In the nightmare of the dark All the dogs of Europe bark, And the living nations wait, Each sequestered in its hate; Intellectual disgrace Stares from every human face, And the seas of pity lie Locked and frozen in each eye. Follow, poet, follow right To the bottom of the night, With your unconstraining voice Still persuade us to rejoice; With the farming of a verse Make a vineyard of the curse, Sing of human unsuccess In a rapture of distress; In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountain start, In the prison of his days Teach the free man how to praise.
In Memory of Sigmund Freud When there are so many we shall have to mourn, when grief has been made so public, and exposed to the critique of a whole epoch the frailty of our conscience and anguish, of whom shall we speak? For every day they die among us, those who were doing us some good, who knew it was never enough but hoped to improve a little by living.
Such was this doctor: still at eighty he wished to think of our life from whose unruliness so many plausible young futures with threats or flattery ask obedience, but his wish was denied him: he closed his eyes upon that last picture, common to us all, of problems like relatives gathered puzzled and jealous about our dying. For about him till the very end were still those he had studied, the fauna of the night, and shades that still waited to enter the bright circle of his recognition turned elsewhere with their disappointment as he was taken away from his life interest to go back to the earth in London, an important Jew who died in exile.
Only Hate was happy, hoping to augment his practice now, and his dingy clientele who think they can be cured by killing and covering the garden with ashes.
Ulysses (Chap. 14 - Oxen of the Sun)
They are still alive, but in a world he changed simply by looking back with no false regrets; all he did was to remember like the old and be honest like children. He wasn't clever at all: he merely told the unhappy Present to recite the Past like a poetry lesson till sooner or later it faltered at the line where long ago the accusations had begun, and suddenly knew by whom it had been judged, how rich life had been and how silly, and was life-forgiven and more humble, able to approach the Future as a friend without a wardrobe of excuses, without a set mask of rectitude or an embarrassing over-familiar gesture.
This, from Jeffrey, the heart of kindness, of consideration—this instinctively brutal gesture. The gasp became a silence. A dozen eyes were turned on Jeffrey, who looked up as though seeing Roxanne for the first time.
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An expression of bewilderment settled on his face. Into a dozen minds entered a quick suspicion, a rumor of scandal. Could it be that behind the scenes with this couple, apparently so in love, lurked some curious antipathy? Why else this streak of fire across such a cloudless heaven? Not once did it occur to her to blame him or to resent it. The bewildered look changed to pain. He was clearly as startled as she. You— I felt as if some one were attacking me. I—how—why, how idiotic!
They were both on their feet, they were saying good-by, faltering, apologizing, explaining. There was no attempt to pass it off easily.
The Silver Lining in Block.One’s SEC ‘Slap on the Wrist’
That way lay sacrilege. Jeffrey had not been feeling well, they said. He had become nervous. Back of both their minds was the unexplained horror of that blow— the marvel that there had been for an instant something between them—his anger and her fear—and now to both a sorrow, momentarily, no doubt, but to be bridged at once, at once, while there was yet time. Was that swift water lashing under their feet—the fierce glint of some uncharted chasm?
Out in their car under the harvest moon he talked brokenly. It was just—incomprehensible to him, he said. He had been thinking of the poker game—absorbed—and the touch on his shoulder had seemed like an attack. An attack! He clung to that word, flung it up as a shield. He bad hated what touched him. With the impact of his hand it had gone, that—nervousness.
That was all he knew. Both their eyes filled with tears and they whispered love there under the broad night as the serene streets of Marlowe sped by. Later, when they went to bed, they were quite calm. Jeffrey was to take a week off all work—was simply to loll, and sleep, and go on long walks until this nervousness left him. When they had decided this safety settled down upon Roxanne. The pillows underhead became soft and friendly; the bed on which they lay seemed wide, and white, and sturdy beneath the radiance that streamed in at the window. Five days later, in the first cool of late afternoon, Jeffrey picked up an oak chair and sent it crashing through his own front window.
Then he lay down on the couch like a child, weeping piteously and bagging to die. A blood dot the size of a marble had broken in his brain. There is a sort of waking nightmare that sets in sometimes when one has missed a sleep or two, a feeling that comes with extreme fatigue and a new sun, that the quality of the life around has changed.
It is a fully articulate conviction that somehow the existence one is then leading is a branch shoot of life and is related to life only as a moving picture or a mirror—that the people, and streets, and houses are only projections from a very dim and chaotic past. She slept only when she was utterly exhausted; she awoke under a cloud. The doctors held out hope, but that was all. A long rest, they said, and quiet.
So responsibility came to Roxanne. It was she who paid the bills, pored over his bank-book, corresponded with his publishers. She was in the kitchen constantly. She learned from the nurse how to prepare his meals and after the first month took complete charge of the sick-room. She had had to let the nurse go for reasons of economy. One of the two colored girls left at the same time. Roxanne was realizing that they had been living from a short story to short story. The most frequent visitor was Harry Cromwell.
He had been shocked and depressed by the news, and though his wife was now living with him in Chicago he found time to come out several times a month. Roxanne found his sympathy welcome—there was some quality of suffering in the man, some inherent pitifulness that made her comfortable when he was near. She felt sometimes that with Jeffrey she was losing her children also, those children that now most of all she needed and should have had. Finding herself in Chicago with an extra hour before train time, she decided out of courtesy to call.
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