W.H. Auden

Poem: ‘Letter to an Editor’

W.H. Auden, 22 December 1983

Is Robert Lowell Better than Noel Coward, Howard?

W.H. Auden’s little poem has passed into the folk memory without, so far as we know, ever having seen print. The editor in question is Howard Moss, who runs the poetry in the New Yorker.

Uncle Wiz: Auden

Stefan Collini, 16 July 2015

Auden​ loved aphorisms, extracts, notes, lists. It was not just the shortness of short forms that he approved of: he liked their refusal of system even more, their acknowledgment that...

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In a poem from the early 1960s, ‘On the Circuit’, W.H. Auden describes himself as ‘a sulky fifty-six’, who finds ‘A change of meal-time utter hell’, and has...

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With Slip and Slapdash: Auden’s Prose

Frank Kermode, 7 February 2008

Auden more than once explained that his business was poetry and that he wrote prose to earn his keep while pursuing that ill-paid vocation. Luckily he had another powerful reason for writing...

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These lectures were delivered at the New School for Social Research in Greenwich Village during the academic session 1946-47. Arthur Kirsch has pieced them together from the records of four people...

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Ian Sansom, 17 July 1997

W.H. Auden’s first published book review appeared in the Criterion in April 1930, and his first sentence cuts a dash: ‘Duality is one of the oldest of our concepts; it appears and...

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Young Wystan

Ian Hamilton, 8 September 1994

W.H. Auden once revealed his ‘life-long conviction that in any company I am the youngest person present.’ This confession, made when he was 58, perhaps raised a shifty smile among...

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Dog Days

Stan Smith, 11 January 1990

The Helensburgh and Gareloch Times for 1 July 1931 reports that, at the Larchfield School Speech Day, ‘the boys entertained the company with two little plays, and their clever acting and...

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