The More Loving One
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
-W. H . Auden 1907-73
At some point in our lives, we've desired something or someone we couldn't have and that in a lot of these situations, we've found ourselves accepting that fact and consoling ourselves with the hope that with time, it will come to pass.There's plenty of interpretations for this poem but since I write and read about love, that's where I've focused on this piece.Sometimes, we are content just to love and admire, happy with the chance of being able to do so over someone so beautiful and majestic like the stars that fill the night sky, unconcerned that like the stars, they are not able to love someone so small and insignificant like ourselves—only a mere speck among the many who gaze at them so longingly.And with time, we will eventually turn our eyes away and walk on, maybe because reality is filling our world with light and clarity much like the night sky disappearing from our view at the sharp glare of the morning sun.Or maybe simply because the rest of our life is straight ahead and not heavenwards, and we are simply not destined to be loved and worshipped by the gods.