For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives In the valley of its making where executives Would never want to tamper, flows on south From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs, Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives, A way of happening, a mouth.
From In Memory of W. B. Yeats by W.H. Auden
I haven't read this poem for years, but poured over it at university. Met up with an old
university friend the other day. Phil. Mentioned poetry (how I'm writing it, reading it). In
the mail comes a CD with poems on it including Auden reading this astonishing poem. I
was stopped still for the fullness of the poem. And here, these six lines about poetry! Suchperfection.
I can't find the Auden recording to link to, but here's a reading on youtube.