Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Going through 11-year-old e-mails . . .
I kept, in a folder -- never thinking, I'm sure, that e-mail would still be around in 11 years -- some correspondence among friends exchanged as Sept. 11, 2001 unfolded. Yeats and Auden made multiple appearances, as did this one, in particular:
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade;
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night
W. H. Auden, September 1, 1939.
That afternoon -- I'll never forget how amazed I was that it all came together so quickly, and smoothly -- about 6,000 members of the Notre Dame community celebrated Mass on the South Quad.
It's strange, for me, to remember what a beautiful day that awful day was.
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