- The More Loving One
- by W.H. Auden
- Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
For more about this poem and a reading by astrophysicist Janna Levin, visit this Brainpickings piece by Maria Popova.
To hear the poet reading his own poem, go to this YouTube video.