Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Auden Poem: The History of Truth

This is the poem referred to in the last post:

The History of Truth

In that ago when being was believing
Truth was the most of many credibles
More first, more always, than a bat-winged lion,
A fish-tailed dog or eagle-headed fish,
The least like mortals, doubted by their deaths.

Truth was their model as they strove to build
A world of lasting objects to believe in,
Without believing earthenware and legend,
Archway and song, were truthful or untruthful:
The Truth was there already to be true.

This while when, practical like paper dishes,
Truth is convertible to kilo-watts,
Our last to do by is an anti-model,
Some untruth anyone can give the lie to,
A nothing no one need believe is there.

-W. H. Auden

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