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A plan implies an architect [39/365] | by Sarah Ross photography
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A plan implies an architect [39/365]

The Labyrinth by W. H. Auden


Anthropos apteros for days

Walked whistling round and round the Maze,

Relying happily upon

His temperment for getting on.


The hundredth time he sighted, though,

A bush he left an hour ago,

He halted where four alleys crossed,

And recognized that he was lost.



"Where am I?" Metaphysics says

No question can be asked unless

It has an answer, so I can

Assume this maze has got a plan.


If theologians are correct,

A Plan implies an Architect:

A God-built maze would be, I'm sure,

The Universe in minature.


Are data from the world of Sense,

In that case, valid evidence?

What in the universe I know

Can give directions how to go?


All Mathematics would suggest

A steady straight line as the best,

But left and right alternately

Is consonant with History.


Aesthetics, though, believes all Art

Intends to gratify the heart:

Rejecting disciplines like these,

Must I, then, go which way I please?


Such reasoning is only true

If we accept the classic view,

Which we have no right to assert,

According to the Introvert.


His absolute pre-supposition

Is - Man creates his own condition:

This maze was not divinely built,

But is secreted by my guilt.


The centre that I cannot find

Is known to my unconscious Mind;

I have no reason to despair

Because I am already there.


My problem is how not to will;

They move most quickly who stand still;

I'm only lost until I see

I'm lost because I want to be.


If this should fail, perhaps I should,

As certain educators would,

Content myself with the conclusion;

In theory there is no solution.


All statements about what I feel,

Like I-am-lost, are quite unreal:

My knowledge ends where it began;

A hedge is taller than a man."



Anthropos apteros, perplexed

To know which turning to take next,

Looked up and wished he were a bird

To whom such doubts must seem absurd.


[with Ed]

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Taken on February 8, 2010