Jul 31, 2017

The Job of Radcliffe

Shut up in a lonely mansion,
with police night and day
Patrolling the gardens to keep assassins away,
He got down to work, to the task of settling the fate
Of millions. The maps at his disposal were out of date
And the Census Returns almost certainly incorrect
But in seven weeks it was done, the frontiers decided,
A continent for better or worse divided.
- W.H.Auden, 1966 Poem on the job of Mr. Radcliffe who drew the line of partition between India and Pakistan