We must love one another or die

We must love one another or die

W.H. Auden
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What do you think of when you think of mourning?' Jenny asks.The question snaps me back to attention. I answer without really thinking. "I guess 'Funeral Blues' by W.H. Auden. I think it was Auden. I suppose that's not very original.''I don't know it.''It's a poem.''I gathered.''I'm just clarifying. It's not a blues album.'Jenny ignores my swipe at her intelligence.'Does your response need to be original? Isn't that what poetry is for, for the poet to express something so personal that it ultimately is universal?'I shrug. Who is Jenny, even new Jenny, to say what poetry is for? Who am I for that matter?'Why do you thin of that poem in particular?'"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, / Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, / Silence the pianos and with muffled drum / Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.' I learned the poem in college and it stuck.

Steven Rowley, Lily and the Octopus
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My second thoughts condemnAnd wonder how I dareTo look you in the eye.What right have I to swearEven at one a.m.To love you till I die?Earth meets too many crimesFor fibs to interest her;If I can give my word,Forgiveness can recurAny number of timesIn Time. Which is absurd.Tempus fugit. Quite.So finish up your drink.All flesh is grass. It is. But who on earth can thinkWith heavy heart or lightOf what will come of this?

W.H. Auden, Auden: Poems
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There are good books which are only for adults.There are no good books which are only for children.

W.H. Auden
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Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.

W.H. Auden
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Do you know who W.H. Auden was, Mr. Iscariot? W.H. Auden was a poet who once said, “God may reduce you on Judgement Day to tears of shame reciting by heart the poems you would have written had your life been good”…She was my poem, Mr. Iscariot. Her and the kids. But mostly her. You cashed in for silver, Mr. Iscariot. But me? Me…I threw away gold. That’s a fact. That’s a natural fact.

Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
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Laziness acknowledges the relation of the present to the past but ignores its relation to the future; impatience acknowledge its relation to the future but ignores its relation to the past; neither the lazy nor the impatient man, that is, accepts the present instant in its full reality and so cannot love his neighbour completely.

W.H. Auden, The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose, Volume III: 1949-1955
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The most exciting rhythms seem unexpected and complex, the most beautiful melodies simple and inevitable.

W.H. Auden, The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose, Volume III: 1949-1955
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So long as we think of it objectively, time is Fate or Chance, the factor in our lives for which we are not responsible, and about which we can do nothing; but when we begin to think of it subjectively, we feel responsible for our time, and the notion of punctuality arises.

W.H. Auden, The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose, Volume III: 1949-1955
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A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.

W.H. Auden, The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose, Volume II: 1939-1948
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