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Last night’s viewing of Museum Hours inspired me to re-read Auden’s poem Musee des Beaux Arts today:

‘About suffering, they were never wrong,

The Old Masters: how well they understood

Its human position; how it takes place

While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along…’

‘In Brueghel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away

Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may

Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,

But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone

As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green

Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen

Something amazing, a boy falling from the sky,

Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly by.’

CQ

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