Wednesday, November 09, 2016

even in the teeth of madness we remember we are human

* * *

we must love each other or die
--w.h. auden

* * *

Yes, She Says

Yes, I survived.
Now I face an
equally serious challenge: to get
on a bus,
to get home.
--ryszard krynicki


At 5:48 PM, Blogger John B-R said...

Hi, Richard. As I'm sure you know, Auden hated that line. He thought it was cheap and false. So he changed it to "... love one another and die". Then he cancelled the whole poem. Tho it's probably his most famous, it's not in his collected, at least not in any edition produced in his lifetime. So he's kind of a bad authority vis-a-vis whether or not we must love one another or not. Which is not to say I don't admire your sentiment here. You're a better man person than I am.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

hi john, i know auden changed the line to 'and die' because he said, we die anyway, before disavowing the poem. i still think the line resonates. as for being an authority on love, well, who is? even the best of us make a mess of things. we are, as nicanor parra reminds us, half angel/half sausage. and all human.


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