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Wystan Hugh Auden in PlovdivLit

 

MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS  4.67 / 5

About suffering they were never wrong,

The Old Masters: how well they understood

Its human position; how it takes place

While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking

dully along;

How when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting

for the miraculous birth, there always must be

Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating

On a pond at the edge of the wood:

They never forgot

That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course

Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot

Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's

horse

Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

 

In Brueghel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away

Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may

Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,

But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone

As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green

water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen

Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky

Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

 

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