The inspiration for some of WH Auden's tenderest love poems has spoken for the first time of their caztuning.infol Yates, now 80 and Share your thoughts and debate the big issues. Learn more. Open Comments. Much of his poetry is concerned with moral issues and evidences a strong elegies to poets A.E. Housman, Matthew Arnold, and William Butler Yeats, connection between the landscape depicted and the psychology of Auden's characters. The relationship between Yeats's quest for Unity of Being and Eliot's that the problem he had set himself was '“how far do I like the Ezra, Elliot, Auden school.
He had a gift for friendship and, starting in the late s, a strong wish for the stability of marriage; in a letter to his friend James Stern he called marriage "the only subject. He was embarrassed if they were publicly revealed, as when his gift to his friend Dorothy Day for the Catholic Worker movement was reported on the front page of The New York Times in Their departure from Britain was later seen by many as a betrayal, and Auden's reputation suffered.
Around this time, Auden met the poet Chester Kallmanwho became his lover for the next two years Auden described their relation as a "marriage" that began with a cross-country "honeymoon" journey. He was told that, among those his age 32only qualified personnel were needed. In —42 he taught English at the University of Michigan.
He was called for the draft in the United States Army in Augustbut was rejected on medical grounds. He had been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for —43 but did not use it, choosing instead to teach at Swarthmore College in — Strategic Bombing Surveystudying the effects of Allied bombing on German morale, an experience that affected his postwar work as his visit to Spain had affected him earlier.
In he became a naturalised citizen of the US. Then, starting inhe began spending his summers in KirchstettenAustriawhere he bought a farmhouse from the prize money of the Premio Feltrinelli awarded to him in This fairly light workload allowed him to continue to spend winter in New York, where he lived at 77 St.
Mark's Place in Manhattan's East Villageand to spend summer in Europe, spending only three weeks each year lecturing in Oxford. InAuden moved his winter home from New York to Oxford, where his old college, Christ Church, offered him a cottage, while he continued to spend summers in Austria.
He died in Vienna ina few hours after giving a reading of his poems at the Austrian Society for Literature; his death occurred at the Altenburgerhof Hotel where he was staying overnight before his intended return to Oxford the next day.
Auden Auden published about four hundred poems, including seven long poems two of them book-length. His poetry was encyclopaedic in scope and method, ranging in style from obscure twentieth-century modernism to the lucid traditional forms such as ballads and limericksfrom doggerel through haiku and villanelles to a "Christmas Oratorio" and a baroque eclogue in Anglo-Saxon meters.
A voice of his own
He collaborated on plays with Christopher Isherwood and on opera libretti with Chester Kallmanand worked with a group of artists and filmmakers on documentary films in the s and with the New York Pro Musica early music group in the s and s. About collaboration he wrote in He wrote that he rejected poems that he found "boring" or "dishonest" in the sense that they expressed views he had never held but had used only because he felt they would be rhetorically effective.
His literary executorEdward Mendelsonargues in his introduction to Selected Poems that Auden's practice reflected his sense of the persuasive power of poetry and his reluctance to misuse it.
Early work, —39[ edit ] Up to [ edit ] Cover of the privately printed Poems Auden began writing poems inat fifteen, mostly in the styles of 19th-century romantic poets, especially Wordsworthand later poets with rural interests, especially Thomas Hardy.
W. H. Auden - Wikipedia
At eighteen he discovered T. Eliot and adopted an extreme version of Eliot's style. He found his own voice at twenty when he wrote the first poem later included in his collected work, "From the very first coming down". Twenty of these poems appeared in his first book Poemsa pamphlet hand-printed by Stephen Spender. This mixture of tragedy and farce, with a dream play-within-a-play, introduced the mixed styles and content of much of his later work.
W. H. Auden
A parallel theme, present throughout his work, is the contrast between biological evolution unchosen and involuntary and the psychological evolution of cultures and individuals voluntary and deliberate even in its subconscious aspects. An English Study ; revised editions, in verse and prose, largely about hero-worship in personal and political life. In his shorter poems, his style became more open and accessible, and the exuberant "Six Odes" in The Orators reflect his new interest in Robert Burns.
Journey to a War a travel book in prose and verse, was written with Isherwood after their visit to the Sino-Japanese War. At the time of his return to the Anglican Communion he began writing abstract verse on theological themes, such as "Canzone" and "Kairos and Logos". Aroundas he became more comfortable with religious themes, his verse became more open and relaxed, and he increasingly used the syllabic verse he had learned from the poetry of Marianne Moore.
A Baroque Eclogue published separately in Audenwith most of his earlier poems, many in revised versions.
The Romantic Iconography of the Seabased on a series of lectures on the image of the sea in romantic literature. While writing this, he also wrote " Bucolics ," a sequence of seven poems about man's relation to nature.
Both sequences appeared in his next book, The Shield of Achilleswith other short poems, including the book's title poem, "Fleet Visit", and "Epitaph for the Unknown Soldier". Inhaving moved his summer home from Italy to Austria, he wrote "Good-bye to the Mezzogiorno"; other poems from this period include "Dichtung und Wahrheit: An Unwritten Poem", a prose poem about the relation between love and personal and poetic language, and the contrasting "Dame Kind", about the anonymous impersonal reproductive instinct.WH Auden recites "Doggerel by a Senior Citizen" 1969
These and other poems, including his —66 poems about history, appeared in Homage to Clio Clearly, that is assumed. He does, however, convince us that Yeats accomplished extraordinary deeds while encumbered by human imperfection.
Auden’s Memorial to Yeats
Eliot, Yeats claimed the highest rung. A command of imagery mental pictures that a poet instills in the reader through figurative language, especially metaphor and simile was what the young Auden sought, and he looked to the master for inspiration. Significantly, he discovered through reading Yeats that authenticity in a poet was imperative.
For the purpose of provoking reader emotion, or impressing critics, or enhancing a rhyme, he must not sacrifice personal honesty. As Modernists, the two writers joined countless disillusioned contemporaries in questioning the certainties that had, prior to the anarchy of World War I, supported religion, morality and politics. Their poetry encroached on the very foundations of Western Civilization.
In part of his tribute to Yeats he writes: For poetry makes nothing happen: Time that is intolerant Of the brave and innocent… Worships language and forgives Everyone by whom it lives; Still, as he matured as poet and man, in spite of enduring affection for Yeats, Auden publically underscored the fact that he and the older writer were different — indeed, more dissimilar than alike.
He adhered, he noted with characteristic candor, to the literary tradition of light verse.