From Pope Francis, and W. H. Auden, on a Weekend of Grief


Pope Francis pauses after delivering his message during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP / Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis pauses after delivering his message during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP / Gregorio Borgia)

“Please stop!, I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please!
Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future.”
Pope Francis, Saint Peter’s Square, July 27, 2014

 

 

 

 

——————–

From W. H. Auden, from “Twelve Songs”

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 aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

April 1936

 — W.H. Auden (1907-1973)

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