Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Monday, January 23, 2006

Wisdom from W.H. Auden

I just finished The Once and Future King, which is a remarkable book in a lot of ways, and a mighty quick read (in spite of its 640 pages). I highly recommend it.

Now I'm on to W.H. Auden's Collected Poems. From his "Letter to Lord Byron," (July-October, 1936) comes this prescient passage:

"The Higher Mind's outgrowing the Barbarian,
It's hardly thought hygenic now to kiss;
The world is surely turning vegetarian;
As it grows too sensitive for this,
It won't be long before we find there is
A Society of Everybody's Aunts
For the Prevention of Cruelty to Plants."

And I also like this couplet, from the same poem:

"All the ideals in the world won't feed us
Although they give our crimes a certain air."