How did Auden (W.H.) get it so right? He died in 1973, but his lines come to mind during the 21st century's most wracked moments.
Sept. 1, 1939, was written around that date from "one of the dives/ On Fifty-second Street" in New York, at the end of "a low dishonest decade," the 1930s. It included the Great Depression and the global spread of fascism, with World War Two just ahead. Fair enough, he was there.
But on Sept. 11, 2001, with Auden long dead, his poem seemed to rise from the rubble in Manhattan -- reprinted, quoted, viral etc. That was at the end of a proud, boastful decade, which followed the Soviet Union's demise, with smug Western declarations of victory and much reaping of economic spoils.