Typed Letter Signed W. H. Auden to Stella Musulin with Typescript W. H. Auden "Joseph Weinheber" 1965-03-15
AuthorAuden, W. H.
  • Mayer, Sandra
  • Frühwirth, Timo
PublisherAustrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Vienna 2021
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Cite this Source (MLA 9th Edition)Andorfer Peter, Mayer Sandra, Frühwirth Timo, Mendelson Edward, Neundlinger Helmut and Stoxreiter Daniel. Auden Musulin Papers: A Digital Edition of W. H. Auden's Letters to Stella Musulin. Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2022, amp.acdh.oeaw.ac.at/amp-transcript__0038.html. Acessed Please activate JavaScript and reload page!.

Die Baronin
Stella Musulin
bei S. Pölten

Wien III
Neulingg. 26/14

W.H. Auden
Hubertusbaderstrasse 43


Reachijng my gate a narrow
Lane from the village
Passes on into a wood:
When I walk that way
It seems becoming to stop
And look through the fence
Of your garden where(under
The circs they had to)
They buried you like a loved
Old family dog.

Categorised enemies
Twenty years ago,
Now next-door neighbors,we might
Have become good friends,
Sharing a common ambit
And love of the word,
Over a golden Kremser
Had many a long
Language on syntax,commas,

Yes,yes,it has to be said:
Men of great damage
And malengine took you up.
Did they,though,ever
Take you in,who to Goebbels'
Offer of culture
Countered In Ruah lassen!?
But the crowd prefers
A nasty stink and the young
Condemn you unread.

What,had you ever heard of
Franz Jägerstätter,
The St.Radegund peasant
Who said his lonely
Nein to the Aryan State
And was beheaded,
Would your heart,as Austrian,
As poet,have told you?
Good care,of course,was taken
You should hear nothing,

Be unprepared for a day
That was bound to come,
A season of dread and tears
And dishevelment
When,transfixed by a nightmare,
You destroyed yourself.
Retribution was ever
A bungler at it:
Dies alles ist furchtbar,hier
Nur Schweigen gemäss.(I)


Unmarked by me,unmourned for,
The hour of your death,
Unhailed by you the moment
I first beheld Kirchstetten
On a pouring wet
October day in a year
That changed our Cosmos,
The annus mirabilis
When Parity fell.

Already the realms that lost
Were properly warm
And over-eating,their crimes
The pedestrian
Private sort,those nuisances,
Corpses and rubble,
Lonfg carted away: for their raped
The shock was fading,
Their kidnapped physicists felt
No longer homesick.

To-day we smile at weddings
Where bride and bridegroom
Were both born since the Shadow
Lifted,or rather
Moved elsewhere. Never as yet
Has Earth been without
Her bad patch,some unplace with
Jobs for torturers
(In what bars are they welcome?
What girls marry them?),

Or her nutritive surface
At peace all over.
No one,so far as we know,
Has ever been safe,
And so in secret regions
Good family men
Keep eye,devoted as monks,
On apparatus
Inside which harmless matter
Turns homicidal.

Here,though,I feel as at home
As you did: the same
Short-lived creatures re-utter
The same care-free songs,
Orchards cling to the regime
They know,from April's
Rapid augment of color
Till boisterous Fall
When at each stammering gust
Apples thump the ground.


               Looking across uour valley
               Where,hidden from view,
               Sichelbach tottles westward
               To join the Perschling,
               Humanely modest in scale
               And mild in contour,
               Conscious of grander neighbors
               To bow to,mountains
               Soaring behind me,ahead
               A noble river,

               I would respect you also,
               Neighbor and colleague,
               For even my English ear
               Gets in your German
               The workmanship and the note
               Of one who was graced
               To hear the viols playing
               On the impaled green,
               Committed thereafter den
               Abgrund zu nennen.(2)

N  I) Quotation from W8's poem Auf das Unabwendbare.
   2) Quotation from W's poem Kammermusik.

         Dear Stella:
 Kirchstetten is intending to have a ceroemony in memory of the twentieth
 anniversary of Weinheber'ws  death.  Herewith my effort to do my

P.S. Expect to return K April 22nd. Do hope you
will be around.