Since much of the English world has decided to not notice Auden’s centenary, I’ll just celebrate with Abbas and any other who cares to join me. Here’s an audio recording of Auden reading his “On the Circuit”:
Among pelagian travelers/Lost on their lewd conceited way/To Massachusetts, Michigan/Miami or L.A.
An airborne instrument I sit/Predestined nightly to fulfill/Columbia-Giesen-Management’s/Unfathomable will
By whose election justified/I bring my gospel of the Muse/To fundamentalists, to nuns/to Gentiles and to Jews
And daily, seven days a week,/Before a local sense has jelled,/From talking-site to talking-site/Am jet-or-prop-propelled.
And on this day after elections, I want to note also the seemingly appropriate (in an out of context way) last verse from “A Walk After Dark”:
But the stars burn on overhead,
Unconscious of final ends,
As I walk home to bed,
Asking what judgment waits
My person, all my friends,
And these United States.
I’m tempted to invite: “Open thread: favorite Auden poem”.