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Why was old Auden so grumpy about space exploration?

July 20, 2015

On the anniversary of the first moon landing…

conradbrunstrom

oldauden

Moon Landing – W. H. Auden

Moon Landing

It’s natural the Boys should whoop it up for
so huge a phallic triumph, an adventure
it would not have occurred to women
to think worth while, made possible only

because we like huddling in gangs and knowing
the exact time: yes, our sex may in fairness
hurrah the deed, although the motives
that primed it were somewhat less than menschlich.

A grand gesture. But what does it period?
What does it osse? We were always adroiter
with objects than lives, and more facile
at courage than kindness: from the moment

the first flint was flaked this landing was merely
a matter of time. But our selves, like Adam’s,
still don’t fit us exactly, modern
only in this – our lack of decorum.

Homer’s heroes were certainly no braver
than our Trio, but more fortunate: Hector
was excused the insult of having
his…

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