from Letter to Lord Byron by W.H. Auden

I shall recall a single incident
No more. I spoke of mining engineering
As the career on which my mind was bent,
But for some time my fancies had been veering;
Mirages of the future kept appearing;
Crazes had come and gone in short, sharp gales,
For motor-bikes, photography, and whales.

But indecision broke off with a clean-cut end
One afternoon in March at half-past three
When walking in a ploughed field with a friend
Kicking a little stone, he turned to me
And said, "Tell me, do you write poetry?"
I never had, and said so, but I knew
That very moment what I wished to do.

(to Contents)


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