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Thread: Good collections of critical essays on W.H. Auden

  1. #1
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    Jan 2005

    Good collections of critical essays on W.H. Auden

    I need to become quickly knowledgeable on W.H. Auden and his body of work. Can anyone recommend some good sources for thorough, concise, critical comment on his writings? I'd really appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    You might find this site helpful:

    Good luck!
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Thank you!

    Thanks for providing a wonderful site. I'd prefer to skip the criticism and concentrate on the man -- here's a little jewel I uncovered about Auden early-on when he was a teacher at a boy's school:

    Auden insisted on sleeping out on the lawn in front of the Master's Lodge in the summer term. With great difficulty, several members of the staff got his bed down the stairs and in the early morning he could be seen reclining in bed with an umbrella overhead and some geese underneath. This inspired him to write 'Out on the Lawn' which he dedicated to his headmaster Geoffrey Hoyland.

    Out on the lawn I lie in bed
    Vega conspicuous overhead
    In the windless nights of June;
    Forest of green have done complete
    The day's activity; my feet
    Point to the rising moon

    Lucky, this point in time and space
    is chosen as my working place;
    Where the sexy air of summer,
    The bathing hours and the bars arms,
    The leisured drives through a land of farms,
    Are good to the newcomer.

    Equal with colleagues in a ring
    I sit on each calm evening,
    Enchanted with the flowers
    The opening light draws out of hiding
    From leaves with its dove-like pleading
    Its logic and its powers.

    Can you imagine having Wynstan as a teacher?

    Thanks again!

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