Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Furniture of Home

Here's an excerpt from W.H. Auden's "September 1, 1939," very fitting for 2007:

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
"I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

And from Edna St. Vincent Millay of the cool name and sharp wit (apologies to Dorothy Parker):


Was it for this I uttered prayers,
And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight?

First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!


Today's Rune: Defense.

Birthdays: W.H. Auden (yesterday), George Washington, James Russell Lowell and Edna St. Vincent Millay.


Sheila said...

great poetry. Sorry I haven't commented in a while! I've had the flu! boooo! have a great weekend Erik!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Chrissy Hynes still rocks, still has brass in pocket.

Sidney said...

Very nice selections. "Grown Up" resonates particularly.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks y'all for the comments! I think "First Fig" is the way to go, of you have to choose ;)

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