The More Loving One
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
This poem, penned by W.H Auden, is located in his chapter on history. It could have gone under another chapter but didn’t. I believe this was no mistake; because loving, with no guarantee that one be loved back, is a tale told throughout time. Dealing with the disorienting imperative of loving a universe insensitive to our wants and desires, this poem is an elegy to the unrequited and perhaps vastest love of all. The indifference of the stars to our wonder and admiration is the triumph of the human heart – loving with no demand for us to be loved back.