Thursday, September 28, 2017

W.H. Auden: To a writer on his birthday

Embed from Getty Images

Here are the first two stanzas to mark National Poetry Day.

To a writer on his birthday

August for the people and their favourite islands.
Daily the steamers sidle up to meet
The effusive welcome of the pier, and soon
The luxuriant life of the steep stone valleys
The sallow oval faces of the city
Begot in passion or good-natured habit
Are caught by waiting coaches, or laid bare
Beside the undiscriminating sea.

Lulled by the light they live their dreams of freedom,
May climb the old road twisting to the moors,
Play leapfrog, enter cafes, wear
The tigerish blazer and the dove-like shoe.
The yachts upon the little lake are theirs,
The gulls ask for them, and to them the band
Makes its tremendous statements ; they control
The complicated apparatus of amusement.

Now read about my own Thirties poet W.T. Nettlefold.

No comments: