Auden’s “Partition”

And with these posts on Pakistan and Eqbal Ahmad and Auden’s centenary, this seems appropriate.

Partition by W. H. Auden

Unbiased at least he was when he arrived on his mission,

Having never set eyes on the land he was called to partition

Between two peoples fanatically at odds,

With their different diets and incompatible gods.

“Time,” they had briefed him in London, “is short. It’s too late

For mutual reconciliation or rational debate:

The only solution now lies in separation.

The Viceroy thinks, as you will see from his letter,

That the less you are seen in his company the better,

So we’ve arranged to provide you with other accommodation.