WH Auden could be whimsical, ironic, full of pathos, or comic. Here is comically challenging and aggressive, sending a warning to his critics – “Don’t get in my way or I’ll spit in your eye…’ There is a 30 inch danger zone in front of the poet’s face, so beware anybody who gets too close. Although the poet has no gun he has a weapon just as effective, so watch out world.
I Have No Gun, But I Can Spit
Some thirty inches from my nose
The frontier of my Person goes,
And all the untilled air between
Is private pagus or demesne.
Stranger, unless with bedroom eyes
I beckon you to fraternize,
Beware of rudely crossing it:
I have no gun, but I can spit.
I’d better not say or write any more about this, or I may need to wipe my face…
The Poetry Dude