PERSPECTIVES: W.H. Auden Had It Right … 72 Years Ago

Auden wrote Under Which Lyre in 1946, delivering it publicly at Harvard University. His poem has worn well over the years. It speaks to today’s times. Russ Douthat comments at The New York Times.


Thou shalt not do as the dean pleases, 
Thou shalt not write thy doctor’s thesis 
On education, 
Thou shalt not worship projects nor
Shalt thou or thine bow down before 

Thou shalt not answer questionnaires 
Or quizzes upon World-Affairs, 
Nor with compliance 
Take any test. Thou shalt not sit
With statisticians nor commit 
A social science.

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