I love Midnight Voices!
« : 08.09.04 at 21:28 »
Happened to buy another paperback reissue of Auden's Look, Stranger! recently. Glancing at the title poem, I was struck by the lines
"....through the channels of the ear
May wander like a river
The swaying sound of the sea."
This rang auricular lyrical bells - namely, The Man Who Walked Toward The Music, particularly the chorus:
"And as the sea is in touch with a sea-shell
Singing so far and yet so near
He could hear the drumming distance coming close beside his ear."
There is even a faint lyrical echo in
"But the girl just kept on swaying
In the sea of sound..."
While this may simply be literary coincidence, Clive is an avowed Auden fan and has written fine essays on his work (particularly the generally superior early Auden, correctly defining the later poetry as - remembering this from memory - "champagne, but flat champagne") so the allusions may have simply been absorbed into his lyrics by osmosis.
(Apologies if this Auden allusion-hunting has already been done to death).