The More Loving One
W. H. Auden – 1907-1973
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
I’m sure you did not know W.H. Auden. He died years ago. And I am absolutely sure he does not know you. But in times like this he is sanity from the dark.
Look at the care he put into this in order to talk to you. Carefully measured 8+\- beat rhyming lines that you can tap out on your knee, like a musician, as you listen. It is sing-song. It has humor.
Why would anybody bother?
Because the genes have made us human, and humans must communicate even from the quarantines of different worlds and times.
Why would a dead man reach out to you and encourage you to love in an indifferent universe ?
Humankind is nasty, but it’s capable of love and humor in the face of indifference. Why? It needs community.
We will get through this and we will come together because of it.