Monday, April 26, 2010

Poetry under the door

I often feel hardly anyone reads poetry -- then I'm surprised. A poem was slipped under my door yesterday afternoon from what seems an unlikely source. My neighbor, a retired nurse, to whom I'd mentioned the play I saw last week about Auden, had saved a print out of an email since Sept. 13, 2001. The message was simply "this is being distributed by the U.S.state arts agencies" [obviously in response to 9/11] and it touched her so much, apparently, that she saved it and even remembered it was Auden. This is a very nice lady who bakes cookies and gardens and reads best sellers. Here's the poem.

Defenseless 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.


Kass said...

What a wonderful poem. It makes me want to try some meter in mine. It's hard for me to do this - it usually comes out sounding like a greeting card.

What a delightful thing for your neighbor to share this in that slipped-under-the-door-manner.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Wow, what a cool story and wonderful poem.