Poem of the month: April

At Last the Secret is Out

by W. H. Auden

At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end,
The delicious story is ripe to tell to the intimate friend;
Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its
desire;
Still waters run deep, my dear, there’s never smoke
without fire.

Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on
the links,
Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly
drinks,
Under the look of fatigue, the attack of migraine and the
sigh
There is always another story, there is more than meets
the eye.

For the clear voice suddenly singing, high up in the
convent wall,
The scent of the elder bushes, the sporting prints in the
hall,
The croquet matches in summer, the handshake, the
cough, the kiss,
There is always a wicked secret, a private reason for this.

 

Image: Johannes Vermeer, Woman Writing a Letter with her Maid, c. 1670-71. Oil on canvas. 72.2 x 59.5 cm. National Gallery of Ireland.

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