Saturday, December 16, 2006

Auden #9, Christianity #4

It is nonsense to say that the men of the Middle Ages did not observe nature, or cared only about their own souls, ignoring social relations: indeed it would be truer to say that their intellectual weakness was an oversimple faith in the direct evidence of their sense and immediate data of consciousness, an oversimplification of the relation between the objective and subjective world. Believing that the individual soul was a microcosm of the universe and that all visible things were signs of spiritual truths, they though that to demonstrate this, it was enough simply to use one’s eyes and one’s powers of relation to perceive analogies.

Introduction, Poets of the English Language, Vol. 1, (1953)