Wh auden reading essay

Wh auden reading essay

Wh auden reading essay

English-born poet (1907-1973)

We would rather be ruined than changed
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.

W. H. AUDEN, The Age of Anxiety

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.

W. H. AUDEN, «Squares and Oblongs», Poets at Work

A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.

W. H. AUDEN, «A Poet of the Actual», Forewords and Afterwords

Evil is unspectacular and always human
And shares our bed and eats at our own table.

W. H. AUDEN, «Herman Melville»

No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

W. H. AUDEN, Time Magazine, Dec. 29, 1961

Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.

W. H. AUDEN, New Year Letter

To ask the hard question is simple,
The simple act of the confused will.

W. H. AUDEN, «To Ask the Hard Question is Simple», Poems

The surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it.

W. H. AUDEN, «Reading», The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays

I am beginning to lose patience
With my personal relations.
They are not deep
And they are not cheap.

W. H. AUDEN, «Case Histories»

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters.

W. H. AUDEN, Musee des Beaux Arts

All we are not stares back at what we are.

W. H. AUDEN, «The Sea and the Mirror»

Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.

W. H. AUDEN, «Reading», The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays

And we are introduced to Goodness every day,
Even in drawing-rooms among a crowd of faults;
He has a name like Billy and is almost perfect,
But wears a stammer like a decoration.

W. H. AUDEN, «Herman Melville»

One can only blaspheme if one believes.

W. H. AUDEN, «Concerning the Unpredictable», Forewords and Afterwords

Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation.

W. H. AUDEN, The Complete Works of W. H. Auden

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. This is bad for everyone; the majority lose all genuine taste of their own, and the minority become cultural snobs.

W. H. AUDEN, «The Poet & the City», The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.

W. H. AUDEN, attributed, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Hunger allows no choice.

W. H. AUDEN, «September 1, 1939», Selected Poems

By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.

W. H. AUDEN, «In Memory of W. B. Yeats»

Almost all of our relationships begin and most of them continue as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.

W. H. AUDEN, «Hic et Ille», The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays

Wh auden reading essay

A highly accurate, thoroughly revised version of the Wikipedia page on Auden was first posted in 2007 (follow the link near the top of the home page of this site). This site strongly recommends that online researchers make reference to this specific archived version of the page rather than to more recent versions, which may be less accurate or may be subject to vandalism.

The following is a highly selective list of web sites with information about Auden and critical studies available only on-line.

The Academy of American Poets, whose site includes dozens of pages about poets, has some carefully prepared pages about Auden. These include a brief essay about his work and authorized and accurate texts of a number of his poems. The site includes a recording of Auden reading «On the Circuit.» (To hear the recording, you must have the RealAudio player on your system; it may be downloaded from the RealAudio web site.)

W. H. Auden at Swarthmore includes an extensive sample of manuscripts and other documents from the Auden collection at the Swarthmore College Library.

Kindred Britain, compiled by Nicholas Jenkins, is a genealogical database that began as a database of Auden’s family. It still reveals hitherto unknown insights into Auden’s connections with English history and society. Nicholas Jenkins’ commentary on the site is an essential introduction.

The New York Times Books pages include a full recording of Auden’s reading at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA’s Poetry Center, 27 March 1972. (To hear the recording, you must have the RealAudio player on your system; it may be downloaded from the RealAudio web site.)

BBC: Historic Figures includes a not especially accurate page on Auden.

Auden’s Poem is Drawing New Attention, by Peter Steinfels, is a thoughtful essay on «September 1, 1939,» written for the «Beliefs» column of The New York Times.

The Auden Museum in Kirchstetten is the study of Auden’s former house in Austria, where he summered from 1958 through 1973. Travel directions have been posted on the Internet by the Austrian government. (Note: This link no longer functions, but a search for «Audenhaus» on the Internet will produce similar results; also see this Kirchstetten web site and search the tourist information for «Audenhaus.»)

Auden in the North, by Alan Myers, is an extensive essay on Auden’s love for the Pennines, with detailed notes on Auden’s reading and writing, and illustrations of scenes and structures mentioned in Auden’s poems. (The link leads to an archived version of this now-deleted page.)

W. H. Auden Walk — Rookhope, Weardale includes photographs of Auden’s sacred landscape from his childhood.

A genealogy of Constance Rosalie Bicknell Auden (W. H. Auden’s mother) may be traced at a site devoted to the Bicknell family. (The link leads to the index of persons; work down to Constance Rosalie Bicknell by following the links on the index page.) Many names from Auden’s early works may be found in this genealogy: among them Robert Bicknell from The Chase, Culley from Paid on Both Sides, and many aunts with the name Mildred from The Dog Beneath the Skin.

Information on library archives with extensive Auden material may be found at the UK National Register of Archives; one noteworthy collection is at the Edinburgh University Library.

A set of photographs of Auden in Berlin, c. 1966, may be found on the web site of Mark B. Anstendig.

Two photographs of Auden’s grave may be found on a site devoted to such things.

Sites that have nothing whatever to do with W. H. Auden include Auden Technology Mfg Co Ltd in Taiwan (their motto: «Persisting in Technology»), Audens Telecommunications in Germany, and Auden Refrigeraзгo in Brazil, makers of Auden Refrigerators. The Canadian firm Glen Auden Resources Ltd has, unfortunately, changed its name to Hemlo Gold Mines Inc. — Maple Minerals Inc.

Auden seems to have inspired the choice of at least one pseudonym. Renée Auden was the name used by the writer Uta West when she worked as a pin-up model (as seen on the cover of Famous Models, September-October 1950) and as the author of two erotic novels, The Party and High Thrust; in later years she wrote and edited feminist books under (apparently) her own name, including If Love Is the Answer, What Is the Question?

Please e-mail the webmaster, using the link at the foot of the home page, if you know of other items that belong on this page.

Tyne Daly reads «But I Can’t» by W. H. Auden

02_but_i_cant. mp3

In celebration of National Poetry Month, every day we’re posting a new poem from the spoken-word album Poetic License, a three-CD set that features one hundred performers of stage and screen reading one hundred poems selected by the actors themselves. From Shakespeare and Dickinson to Lucille Clifton and Allen Ginsberg, the lineup spans contemporary American poetry and classics of the Western canon.

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907–1973) was an Oxford-educated English writer who entered poetic history with the volume Poems, published in 1930 following a private printing of a book of the same name in 1928. Also a respected librettist, essayist, translator, and playwright, Auden went on to publish dozens of poetry collections, including Another Time (Random House, 1940), which contains his often-anthologized poem «Musée des Beaux Arts»; For the Time Being (Random House, 1944); The Shield of Achilles (Faber and Faber, 1955); and Thank You, Fog: Last Poems (Random House, 1974).

Tyne Daly is a stage and screen actress whose performance as Rose in Gypsy earned her a Tony Award in 1989. She appeared in television’s Cagney and Lacey for six years, during which time she won four Emmy Awards for her performance as Detective Mary Beth Lacey. Daly is currently playing the role of Maria Callas in the Kennedy Center production of Master Class, which closes on April 18.

«But I Can’t» by W. H. Auden, from Poetic License produced by Glen Roven. Copyright © 2010 by GPR Records. Used with permission of GPR Records.

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