Friday, March 06, 2009

Poetry Friday: Was he free? Was he happy?

It's another wonderful Atticus pick this week, one of which I wholeheartedly approve -- the amazing W. H. Auden:

The Unknown Citizen
by W. H. Auden

(To JS/07 M 378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
that, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a
For in everything he did ...

... Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

Read the entire poem here, at

The Poetry Friday round up is being hosted by Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day.


Liz said...

Thanks, Karen. This one's always been one of my favorites!

Kelly Fineman said...

Love those ending lines in particular. Thanks for sharing it, Karen!

jama said...

What a cool poem (new to me). Thanks for sharing it!!