Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come
Let airplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead
Put crêpe bows around the white necks of public doves
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves
She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out everyone,
Pack back the moon and dismantle the sun
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing can ever come to any good.
An unknown citizen
(To JS/07/M/378 This
Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)
He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name proved that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
O cidadão desconhecido
(A JS/07/M/378 o Estado ergueu este Monumento de Mármore)
apurou o Instituto de Estatística,
ele nunca existiu qualquer queixa oficial,
todos os relatórios sobre a sua conduta confirmam:
moderno sentido de uma palavra velha, ele era um santo,
em tudo o que fez serviu a Grande Comunidade.
excepção da Guerra e até ao dia da reforma,
numa fábrica e nunca foi despedido;
satisfez os patrões, Máquinas Fraude, L.da.
não era fura-greves nem tinha opiniões estranhas,
o Sindicato informa que sempre pagou as quotas
o seu Sindicato tem a nossa confiança)
o nosso pessoal de Psicologia Social descobriu
ele era popular entre os colegas e gostava de um copo.
Imprensa não duvida de que comprava um jornal por dia
que as reacções à publicidade eram cem por cento normais.
tiradas em seu nome provam que tinha todos os seguros,
o Boletim de Saúde mostra que esteve uma vez no hospital e saiu curado.
o Gabinete de Estudo dos Produtores como o da Qualidade de Vida declaram
estava plenamente sensibilizado para as vantagens da Compra a Prestações
tinha tudo o que é preciso ao Homem Moderno:
gira-discos, um rádio, um carro e um frigorífico.
nossos inquiridores da Opinião Pública alegram-se
ter as opiniões certas para a época do ano;
havia paz, era pela paz, quando havia guerra, ele ia,
casado e aumentou com cinco filhos a população,
que, diz o nosso Eugenista, era o número certo para um pai da sua geração,
os nossos professores informam que nunca interferiu com a sua educação.
livre? Era feliz? A pergunta é absurda:
algo estivesse errado, com certeza teríamos sabido.
Tradução de João Ferreira Duarte, em "LEITURAS, poemas do inglês", Relógio de Água, 1993. ISBN 972-708-204-1
The long poem Letter to Lord Byron, here
Grappling with God
The faith of a famous poet.
by Wilfred M. McClay
05/15/2006, Volume 011, Issue 33
Auden and Christianity
by Arthur Kirsch
Yale, 240 pp., $30
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