Wednesday, February 21, 2007


A hundred years ago today, one of my favorite poets was born: a splendid fat bugger who, once he became famous, wore carpet slippers everywhere—even with a tuxedo. He loved words and landscape, gave generously in support of the Catholic Worker, and reconverted to Anglicanism as an adult. His friends ranged from Dorothy Day to Christopher Isherwood to Gypsy Rose Lee. His essays and poems were formative for me, and I still love them.

In his own words in honor of another dead poet,
Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

Events for the Auden centenary

Let us lift a glass in honor of W.H. Auden, Christian and queer and poet.

No comments: