By Walton Litz
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Additional resources for American Writers, Supplement 2
New York: Vintage Books, 1971. Collected Shorter Poems 1927-1957. London: Faber and Faber, 1966; New York: Random House, 1967. ) Collected Longer Poems. London: Faber and Faber, 1968; New York: Random House, 1969. Collected Poems. London: Faber and Faber, 1976; New York: Random House, 1976. (Includes the BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL STUDIES Blair, John G. The Poetic Art of W. H. Auden. Princeton, N. : Princeton University Press, 1965. Carpenter, Humphrey. W. H. Auden: A Biography. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (in press).
Burdened by our own knowledge, we still "have time / To misrepresent, excuse, deny, / Mythify, use this event"; but its historical uniqueness, the real fact of murder, remains. " And as we sleep "our dreaming wills" move through an ominous dream landscape of symbolic guilt and accusation: Through gates that will not relatch And doors marked Private, pursued by Moors And watched by latent robbers, To hostile villages at the heads of fjords, To dark chateaux where wind sobs In the pine-trees and telephones ring, Inviting trouble....
Come up, black dada nihilismus. Rape the white girls. Rape their fathers. Cut the mothers' throats. " Jones resolves the poem stylistically and culturally in a chanted appeal to Damballah, reaching for the still-distant but now retrievable African past through a ritual naming of victims and heroes of color (including his grandfather Tom Russ) who struggled in the New World: For tambo, willie best, dubois, patrice, mantan, the bronze buckaroos. For Jack Johnson, asbestos, tonto, buckwheat, billie holiday.