Manuscript Of W.h. Auden's Poem "the Aliens" Sent To The Man He Dedicated It To For Sale
W.H. AUDEN. Typed Manuscript Signed ofAuden's poem "The Aliens" sent to William Gray [Dr. William Shelton Gray, Jr.] to whom he dedicated the poem, one of the last poems Auden completed before his death. Auden attributed Gray for writing this poem explaining the dedication: "Since this was suggested by the two bodies you gave me". The manuscript containsone page and at the bottom of the page is an Autographed Letter manuscript size is larger than quarto and it is in fine condition. The text on the first few lines isslightly fading, there are corrections made throughout the text in Auden's hand, and the manuscript is contained in a two part cardboard frame with a plastic protective covering on the front. The manuscript also comes with thirty-ninephotocopies of the poem with a total ofthirty-nine pages. Gray references this typescript as the originalcopy of the poem in correspondence to his mother:"Enclosed are two unpublished poems by W.H. Auden, generally critically considered to be not only the most distinguished English poet of the twentieth century but also the greatest living writer in the world. One you have framed there, the other, “The Aliens”, his new major poem is dedicated to me...I enclose two copies of ‘Aliens’, a dim Photostat of the original his handwriting...I have the original copy with the dedication to me in his hand writing...it remains a major poem by the world’s greatest living poet".Auden sent several manuscripts from his book of poems Epistle to a Godson and Other Poems before its publication for Gray to review.Listen to Auden read in full "The Aliens".GET ACCESS »
The poem reads in full: "THE ALIENS
(for William Gray)Wide though the interrupt be that divides us conscious observsrs
from the World of the Plants, all lapped in an innocent silence,
where, by the grace of chlorophyll; no one ever has taken
life or disturbed it with sceptical questions, we nod then as neighbors,
who, to judge from their friendly response to gardeners and tillers,
like to be given the chance to get more than a self-education.
As for the skeletal beasts, we didn't need Darwin to tell us
horses and rabbits and moles are our cognates, the double-voiced song-birds
cousins, however removed. Unique as wee seem, we too are
thrust forth into the world poodle-naked as male or as female,
grab at and gobble up proteins, drop dung, perform the ungainly
brute-with-two-backs till, dared and doddered by age, we surrender,
lapse into stagnant stuff, while they, by retaining a constant
physical shape through a lifetime, accord with our human idea of
having a Self. They also, we cannot but fancy, are peering
at a horizon as we do, aware of, however dimly,
more than they must be concerned with, and vaguely elated at being
somebodies up and about: yes, even the humblest have, surely,
nosed a few steps up the hazardous way towards courage,
utterance, joy and collateral love. That is why, in our folk-tales,
toads and squirrels can talk, in our epics the chiefs be compared to
lions or foxes or But between us and the Insects,
namely, nine-tenths of the living, there grins a prohibitive fracture
empathy cannot transgress. (What Saint made a friend of a roach or
preached to an ant-hill?) Unrosed by a shame, unendorsed by a sorrow,
blank to a fear of failure, they daunt alike the believer's
faith in a fatherly providence and the atheist's dogma of purely
random events. To begin as a crawling insatiable eater,
then to be buried and mortify, then to emerge from the cere-cloth
winged and mateable, brilliantly colored a sipper of juices
yet a compulsive hunter and hoarder, must xxx do havoc to any
unitive sense. To excuse their unamiable triumphs as warriors,
miners, carpenters, farmers, dairymaids, dwellers in towns where
sex is reserved for the Few and the many animate tool-kits
perish from overwear, one is tempted to dream up a Gnostic
myth of an earlier Fall, preceding by aeons the reptiles:
Adam a crab-like creature who had struggles out of a steamy
ocean where he had failed at making a living and now lay
moribund, choked on a shore without song/:. Unto whom the Seducer,
not our romantic Satan but a clever cartesian Archon,
coaxingly thus: Not doing very well, are you, poor deathling,
no, and unlikely to do any better, thanks to the dreams of
We-Know-Whom. (He's a Precious but logic was never His forte.)
Freedom may manage in Heaven with Incorporeals, but for
ghosted extended matter, the consequence is to be doomed to
err where an error is mortal. But trust me and live. For I do know
just what needs to be done. If I programme your ganglia for you,
you shall inherit the Such a myth, we all know, is no answer.
What they mean to themselves and to God is a meaningless question:
they to us are quite simply what we must never become.".
W.H. AUDEN. Autographed Letter Signed from "Wystan" to "Bill [Dr. William Shelton Gray, Jr.]".
("...I want to dedicate to you...")
Auden not only attributes Gray for writing the poem, but he also dedicates the work to him ("...Since this was suggested by the two bodies you gave me, I want to dedicate to you...").
The letter contains one page. The letter size is larger than quarto and it is in fine condition.
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