Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

The error bred in the bone . . .

Expand Messages
  • Mary Jo
    Obsessing about our private lives and always about some international wrong, we cling to our average day. We ve never been happy or good, and want to be loved
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2004
      Obsessing about our private lives and always about some international
      wrong, we cling to our average day. We've never been happy or good,
      and want to be loved alone not universally. So into the ethical life,
      resuming our compulsory game, we try to love one another or die. But
      wait we're gonna die anyway so why bother? Why should I, composed
      like them of lust and dust, beleaguered by the same negation and
      despair, show an affirming flame? Why, I ask you, why?

      -------------------------------------------------------

      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.

      Accurate scholarship can
      Unearth the whole offence
      From Luther until now
      That has driven a culture mad,
      Find what occurred at Linz,
      What huge imago made
      A psychopathic god:
      I and the public know
      What all schoolchildren learn,
      Those to whom evil is done
      Do evil in return.

      Exiled Thucydides knew
      All that a speech can say
      About Democracy,
      And what dictators do,
      The elderly rubbish they talk
      To an apathetic grave;
      Analysed all in his book,
      The enlightenment driven away,
      The habit-forming pain,
      Mismanagement and grief:
      We must suffer them all again.

      Into this neutral air
      Where blind skyscrapers use
      Their full height to proclaim
      The strength of Collective Man,
      Each language pours its vain
      Competitive excuse:
      But who can live for long
      In an euphoric dream;
      Out of the mirror they stare,
      Imperialism's face
      And the international wrong.

      Faces along the bar
      Cling to their average day:
      The lights must never go out,
      The music must always play,
      All the conventions conspire
      To make this fort assume
      The furniture of home;
      Lest we should see where we are,
      Lost in a haunted wood,
      Children afraid of the night
      Who have never been happy or good.

      The windiest militant trash
      Important Persons shout
      Is not so crude as our wish:
      What mad Nijinsky wrote
      About Diaghilev
      Is true of the normal heart;
      For the error bred in the bone
      Of each woman and each man
      Craves what it cannot have,
      Not universal love
      But to be loved alone.

      From the conservative dark
      Into the ethical life
      The dense commuters come,
      Repeating their morning vow;
      "I will be true to the wife,
      I'll concentrate more on my work,"
      And helpless governors wake
      To resume their compulsory game:
      Who can release them now,
      Who can reach the deaf,
      Who can speak for the dumb?

      All I have is a voice
      To undo the folded lie,
      The romantic lie in the brain
      Of the sensual man-in-the-street
      And the lie of Authority
      Whose buildings grope the sky:
      There is no such thing as the State
      And no one exists alone;
      Hunger allows no choice
      To the citizen or the police;
      We must love one another or die.

      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.

      September 1, 1939
      by W.H. Auden
    • jerryjfortin@aol.com
      In a message dated 01/04/2004 7:54:21 AM Mountain Standard Time, ... You should empathise with others, if for no other reason that their plight could very well
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 1, 2004
        In a message dated 01/04/2004 7:54:21 AM Mountain Standard Time,
        alcyon11@... writes:

        > But wait we're gonna die anyway so why bother? Why should I, composed
        > like them of lust and dust, beleaguered by the same negation and
        > despair, show an affirming flame? Why, I ask you, why?
        >

        You should empathise with others, if for no other reason that their plight
        could very well become your own for reasons unknown. If you help, than you may
        be helped. There are no guarantees in life, but having friends and helping
        them out sometimes makes all the difference in the world. Perhaps an individual
        has never known or even seen despair, but that does not mean it does not
        exist. Its existance is a fact of life, and most of the people on the planet are
        in the middle ground between human greed and desperate need. We can look up
        and see benefits of largess and we can look down and see the abject poverty of
        those in desperate need.

        It is said that the only sure thing is that things will change, but for whom
        and to what cannot be said. We all have our ups and downs, but its better to
        be up. So if we can help someone who is down, then perhaps they can do the
        same for someone else. It may start a trend of people caring and helping, or it
        may not. The only certainty is that until someone starts there is no trend.

        So that is why you must try. There is always those in need, so we must all
        do what we can.

        Jerry


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.