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A Birthday

February 21, 2012

To go now to the other side of life, the beginning, the origin, the expulsion from the uterine paradise,–  today is the birthday of W.H. Auden. So here is one of his most beautiful, and short, poems: 

This Lunar Beauty

This lunar beauty
Has no history
Is complete and early,
If beauty later
Bear any feature
It had a lover
And is another.

This like a dream
Keeps other time
And daytime is
The loss of this,
For time is inches
And the heart’s changes
Where ghost has haunted
Lost and wanted.

But this was never
A ghost’s endeavor
Nor finished this,
Was ghost at ease,
And till it pass
Love shall not near
The sweetness here
Nor sorrow take
His endless look.

It is also the birthday of Sacha Guitry, the French filmmämker (I left the typo because I just liked the way it looked, and added the umlaut because that enlikened the looks even more (which reminds that today is also Anaïs Nin’s birthday, as well as Raymond Queneau’s — in fact these two were born on the actual same day, I mean the same day in the same year, 1903, which is the also the birth year of the woman who just died, the one who was the last living (until she ceased living) survivor of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906)) who just recently was honored with a DVD box set from the Criterion Collection, which in includes his masterpiece, The Story of a Cheat, which I strongly recommend to you, a pure lark of a film, whimsical and inventive and criminally complicit, an inspiration to Orson Welles and the French New Wave, and perhaps — who knows? — baccarat enthusiast John Fairfax.

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