Monthly Archives: March 2022

“February 24, 2022”

In the aftermath of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, extracts from WH Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939” were shared widely, in particular its opening stanza:

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-Second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright 
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Over the past week, amid horrific and brutal images of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the poem has again resonated around the world, this time via social media (which didn’t exist in 2001), and with the emphasis now on its final stanza:

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