“When you give alms,” says Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." The poet W. H. Auden seems to have taken Jesus’ instructions to heart.
In my childhood one of the lessons I had to learn the hard way—and repeatedly—is that coming down is almost always more difficult than going up. Whether I was scaling a tall tree, climbing rocks or racing to the top of a ladder, the descent seemed both harder and more nerve-wracking than the ascent.
Edwin Mims published The Christ of the Poets, an examination of images of Christ in English and American poetry, more than 50 years ago. The subject has not been touched by critics since that time, so Peggy Rosenthal's book, which attempts to fill in the gaps of a half century and also to reflect current multicultural interests, deserves special commendation.
A meteor from the universe of Wystan Hugh Auden flashed into the atmosphere of American culture in 1994 when “Funeral Blues,” a poem written in 1936, was recited in a eulogy scene in the movie Three Weddings and a Funeral.