Sunday, February 26, 2012

Turn an Envious Look

Fish in the unruffled lakes
Their swarming colours wear,
Swans in the winter air
A white perfection have,
And the great lion walks
Through his innocent grove;
Lion, fish and swan
Act, and are gone
Upon Time's toppling wave.

We, till shadowed days are done,
We must weep and sing
Duty's conscious wrong,
The Devil in the clock,
The goodness carefully worn
For atonement or for luck;
We must lose our loves,
On each beast and bird that moves
Turn an envious look.

Sighs for folly done and said
Twist our narrow days,
But I must bless, I must praise
That you, my swan, who have
All gifts that to the swan
Impulsive Nature gave,
The majesty and pride,
Last night should add
Your voluntary love.

W. H. Auden 1936

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On the Reading of Poetry

Those who read poetry to improve their minds will never improve their minds by reading poetry. For the true enjoyments must be spontaneous and compulsive and look to no remoter end. The Muses will submit to no marriage of convenience. The desirable habit of mind, if it is to come at all, must come as a by-product, unsought.

C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012


I don't pay tons of attention to what's in my garden, but a friend was enjoying the camellia in the backyard. It was here when we moved in, so I can take no credit, but now they're catching my eye too, so I thought I'd share them.