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From the Stacks: The Poetry of Aldous Huxley

Getty/Hulton Archive

Aldous Huxley would have reached the ripe old age of 119 today. In his honor, we present two of his poems, as originally published in The New Republic, and his infamous interview with Mike Wallace, in which he speaks to threats to freedom in the United States.

Pagan Year: April 16, 1930

December’s eyes are shut, but cannot kill
The colors out of the world. They live, suppressed
Yet strong, shining in secret, live and still
With brooding sables, with cinder and plum attest
The absent light, who with his longed re-birth
Unclots the world to an airy dream of leaves,
That June once more must curdle into earth,
Till the huge elms hang dark above the sheaves.

Magical autumn! all the woods are foxes,
Dozing outstretched in the almost silvery sun.
Oh, bright sad woods and melancholy sky,
Is there no cure for Beauty but to run
Yet faster as faster flee hours, flowers and doxies
And dying music, till we also die?

Almeria: December 3, 1930

Winds have no moving emblems here, but scour
A vacant darkness, an untempered light;
No branches bend, never a tortured flower
Shudders, root-weary, on the verge of flight;
Winged future, withered past, no seeds, nor leaves
Attest those swift invisible feet: they run
Free through a naked land, whose breast receives
The whole fierce ardor of a naked sun.
Thou hast the Light for lover; fortunate Earth!
Conceive the fruit of his divine desire.
But the dry dust is all she brings to birth,
That child of clay by even celestial fire.
     Then come, soft rain and thunder clouds, abate
     This shining love that has the force of hate.

An Interview with Mike Wallace: May 18, 1958