четверг, 6 сентября 2012 г.

Auden's Friday's Child

W.H. Auden

Friday's Child

(In memory of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
 martyred at Flossenburg, April 9, 1945)

     He told us we were free to choose
     But, children as we were, we thought---
     "Paternal Love will only use
     Force in the last resort

     On those too bumptious to repent."
     Accustomed to religious dread,
     It never crossed our minds He meant
     Exactly what He said.

     Perhaps He frowns, perhaps He grieves,
     But it seems idle to discuss
     If anger or compassion leaves
     The bigger bangs to us.

     What reverence is rightly paid
     To a Divinity so odd
     He lets the Adam whom He made
     Perform the Acts of God?

     It might be jolly if we felt
     Awe at this Universal Man
     (When kings were local, people knelt);
     Some try to, but who can?

     The self-observed observing Mind
     We meet when we observe at all
     Is not alariming or unkind
     But utterly banal.

     Though instruments at Its command
     Make wish and counterwish come true,
     It clearly cannot understand
     What It can clearly do.

     Since the analogies are rot
     Our senses based belief upon,
     We have no means of learning what
     Is really going on,

     And must put up with having learned
     All proofs or disproofs that we tender
     Of His existence are returned
     Unopened to the sender.

     Now, did He really break the seal
     And rise again? We dare not say;
     But conscious unbelievers feel
     Quite sure of Judgement Day.

     Meanwhile, a silence on the cross,
     As dead as we shall ever be,
     Speaks of some total gain or loss,
     And you and I are free

     To guess from the insulted face
     Just what Appearances He saves
     By suffering in a public place
     A death reserved for slaves.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer ( 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi resistant, and founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity's role in the secular world, in which he called for a "religionless Christianity", have become widely influential, and many have labelled his book The Cost of Discipleship a modern classic. Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer became known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship. He strongly opposed Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was also involved in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and executed by hanging in April 1945 while imprisoned at a Nazi concentration camp, just 23 days before the German surrender.


Hugo Schwyzer wrote: "The last two stanzas, especially--where Auden contrasts the reality and presence of the dead Christ and all our attempts to rationalize, explain, understand, deny, excuse, hypothesize, mythify--"use this event," as Auden says in "Nones," while "its meanings  / wait for our lives."
I do suspect the rather obscure phrase "just what Appearances He saves" alludes to Owen Barfield's then just-published book, "Saving the Appearances: a study in idolatry," published in 1957, the year before Auden wrote this piece. The basic idea Barfield developed there was that all scientific hypotheses originally developed as means to "save the appearance," i.e., to describe in an abstract way a perhaps chaotic set of observations--and that originally, before the seventeenth century, all such hypotheses were considered equally true or probable as long as all the observations (the appearances) were fairly described ("saved" from disorder or chaos). There's a sly, Audenesque suggestion, too, that all human theories of the Atonement are equally exercies in such "saving of the appearances,"--and even further, that Jesus (fully human, remember--"perfect man" acording to Chalcedon) himself was making a complete leap of faith toward the Father in freely accepting his death . . . ."


Links:
Alan Jacobs "Auden and the Limits of Poetry."  
http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/arts/al0110.html
Русский перевод Роберта Мока - там же, кстати другие переводы Одена
http://www.stihi.ru/2007/01/22-1065
http://www.stihi.ru/avtor/moake
 
W.H.Auden HORAE CANONICAE IMMOLATUS VICERIT (see "Nones")
 http://spintongues.msk.ru/auden9eng.htm
 
"Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry"  Owen Barfield, 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Barfield
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saving_the_Appearances:_A_Study_in_Idolatry
 
Блог, который стоит посмотреть once more....
http://timothyone.com/2006/08/18/fridays-child-w-h-auden/


 
 

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