So That's Where That Comes From

Paul Claudel, whom [WH] Auden refers to in his 1939 poem "In Memory of W. B. Yeats," wrote a verse drama called Le soulier de satin (The satin slipper) that he prefaced with what he called a "Portuguese proverb": "Deus escreve direito por linas tortas," or "God writes straight with crooked lines."

—From a footnote in the latest edition of Auden's Christmas oratorio For the Time Being, edited by Alan Jacobs.

"Crooked" is a great word, but "linas tortas" has its own kind of magic. The Portuguese wins this one.