“September 1, 1939” by W.H. Auden

The poem was W.H. Auden’s. The date marked the moment when Ger­many invad­ed Poland, ini­ti­at­ing the start of World War II. “Sep­tem­ber 1, 1939” was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in The New Repub­lic on Octo­ber 18, 1939. You can find the text of the poem here. Plus, you can also read George Orwell’s account of what hap­pened that his­toric day in Poland. I found it, and just had to throw that in.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.