Just About a Poem

I came across the following poem today:

 

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.

-W. H. Auden

 

What I love about poetry is the various ways that the author’s words can be interpreted. In my opinion, Auden is talking about caring too much for someone or something and dealing with the fall out of those specific emotions.

I particularly find this interesting because I feel that over the past few years, I have become intensely apathetic to many situations. I haven’t been like this my whole life, and oftentimes in the past I allowed my heart to guide my attitude. However, people and relationships with those people can prove tiring and sometimes simply not caring seems like the best path. Is it worth it to become invested in someone or something that you can’t control? Probably not.

I live by the thought that you can only trust yourself. While this is comforting in some aspects, it is also depressing and isolating. Do we only have ourselves? Is there no other being in the world that has our back? Our best interest?

Ha! And that is why I like Auden’s poem. While the sky may be void of stars and the darkness is overwhelming, with time you will learn to only trust yourself and care not about irrelevance, or ultimately, other people’s opinions.

 

Until next time,

Erica