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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

For Matthew

Matthew Shepard was murdered today. Seven years ago. I remember crying and crying when I heard the news. The image of him tied to that fence still breaks my heart.

It could've been me.

His father's statement to the court is an amazing testment of love. Please read it.

This Auden poem is linked in my mind to Matthew.

Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.


Jilly said...


Anonymous said...

Beatiful Poem.


Pamela said...

Thanks for this post. I will never read this poem again without thinking of Matthew.

Justin Evans said...

One of the poems that makes me want to keep writing. Thank's for the post.

I posted it previously, but you have made a personal connection, which can be infinitely more valuable than mere discussion.