The Eyes Have It

Tonight I started The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs. I allow myself one distraction from my reading…

In the book, Jacobs quotes the following from W. H. Auden’s cycle of poems, Horae Canonincae (no commentary necessary here):


You need not see what someone is doing

to know if it is his vocation,


you have only to watch his eyes:

a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon


making a primary incision,

a clerk completing a bill of lading,


wear the same rapt expression,

forgetting themselves in a function.


How beautiful it is,

that eye-on-the-object look.



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