Sunday, September 02, 2007

The unmentionable odour of death

Are we really going to attack Iran? I honestly have no idea. It's manifestly insane, but that hasn't stopped the Bush administration in the past. There have been false alarms about this in the past. In the meantime, this:
September 1, 1939
by W. H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.
That's the first lines of the signature poem of our time. Composed on the eve of Hitler's invasion of Poland, it also resonated eerily with 9/11, and the matches just keep on coming, for instance, I just noticed that the closing lines seems to describe the internet:
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.

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