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from untitled poem, 1929 (Auden)

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Aug. 19th, 2011 | 12:47 pm

I was writing recently about returning home and finding it to be no longer home, and also about insight (connected with spiritual practice, or spontaneous) shining an unflattering light on compromises in relationships. Well, recently I found the following by Auden, written when he was only 22 (!):

Being alone, the frightened soul
Returns to this life of sheep and hay
No longer his: he every hour
Moves further from this and must so move,
As child is weaned from his mother and leaves home
But taking the first steps falters, is vexed,
Happy only to find home, a place
Where no tax is levied for being there.

So, insecure, he loves and love
Is insecure, gives less than he expects.
He knows not if it be seed in time to display
Luxuriantly in a wonderful fructification
Or whether it be but a degenerate remnant
Of something immense in the past but now
Surviving only as the infectiousness of disease
Or in the malicious carcature of drunkenness;
Its end glossed over by the careless but known long
To finer perception of the mad and ill.


Om Krim Kalyai Namaha,

ak
 

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