Auden October and Fight Club Friday: All that we are not


When I woke in to my life, a sobbing dwarf
Whom giants served only as they pleased, I was not what I seemed;
Beyond their busy backs I made a magic
To ride away from a father’s imperfect justice,
Take vengeance on the Romans for their grammar,

(Auden, W.H. The Sea and the Mirror: A Commentary on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. 1944.)


Usurp the popular earth and blot out for ever
The gross insult of being a mere one among many…

… I am that I am, your late and lonely master;
Who knows now what magic is; — the power to enchant
That comes from disillusion.

(Ibid.)


All that we are not stares back at what we are.

(Ibid.)

The speaker is Prospero, addressing Ariel.

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