Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Quote of the Day (W. H. Auden, on the ‘Leaping Light’ of Summer)

“Look, stranger, on this island now
The leaping light for your delight discovers…
And this full view    
Indeed may enter
And move in memory as now these clouds do,
That pass the harbour mirror
And all the summer through the water saunter.”—English-born American poet, critic and playwright W. H. Auden (1907-1973), “On This Island,” the title poem of the On This Island collection (1937)

Well, since it was the first week of October six years ago when I took this photo, “Indian summer” (not the torrid mid-summer variety we’re experiencing now) might be a bit closer to my experience.

But the interplay of clouds, light, and the water celebrated by W. H. Auden made an impression on me when I walked around Brooklyn Bridge Park back then. Auden himself was still two years away from coming to the U.S. when he wrote these verses (I don't know the locale that inspired him0, but when he finally came to the U.S. and settled in Brooklyn Heights for a year, he would have occasion to see this sight for himself.

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