Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Audio: ‘Musee de Beaux Arts’ read by W.H. Auden

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Musee des Beaux Arts

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 Breughel’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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Pieter_Bruegel_de_Oude_-_De_val_van_Icarus

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525–1569), Oil-tempera, 29 inches x 44 inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels.

2 comments on “Audio: ‘Musee de Beaux Arts’ read by W.H. Auden

  1. anisioluiz2008
    July 24, 2016

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    Like

  2. triciaknoll
    July 24, 2016

    Very nice work with the visuals and the reading. The torturer’s horse rubbing its behind…

    Liked by 1 person

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