Today's poem

Break, blow Anglo-Saxson poetry, or develop, expand - the phrase shows my impression of the poem 'The Wanderer' by W. H. Auden. Auden's poems attract me with his cosmopolitanism and masculine tone. The following poem draws on the Old English verse 'The Wanderer'. Auden's begins with the opening line "Doom is dark and deeper ..." including a typical alliteration effect accompanying stronger beats and kennings such as "places for fishes". The poem concludes with a broken-syntax line "Lucky with day approaching ...". Unlike the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, Auden might presume his return home in the poem. Similar but different from the Japanese poet Mitsuharu Kaneko (金子 光晴) with the decadent atmosphere.

The Wanderer by W. H. Auden
 (from the Internet Archive)

Doom is dark and deeper than any sea-dingle.
Upon what man it fall
In spring, day-wishing flowers appearing,
Avalanche sliding, white snow from rock-face,
That he should leave his house.
No cloud-soft hand can hold him, restraint by women;
But ever that man goes
Through place-keepers, through forest trees,
A stranger to strangers over undried sea.
Houses for fishes, suffocating water,
Or lonely on fell as chat,
By pot-holed becks
A bird stone-haunting, an unquiet bird.

There head falls forward, fatigued at evening.
And dreams of home.
Waving from window, spread of welcome,
Kissing of wife under single sheet;
But waking sees
Bird-flocks nameless to him, through doorway voices
Of new men making another love.

Save him from hostile capture.
From sudden tiger’s spring at comer;
Protect his house.
His anxious house where days are counted
From thunderbolt protect,
From gradual ruin spreading like a stain;
Converting number from vague to certain,
Bring joy, bring day of his returning.
Lucky with day approaching, with leaning dawn.