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Collected Poems [Paperback]

W.H. Auden , Edward Mendelson

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Book Description

18 July 1994
This collection of the poems of W.H. Auden includes three poems referred to by Auden as "posthumous poems", and others that he omitted from the "Collected Shorter Poems" of 1966, printed here in revised versions found among his papers.

Product details

  • Paperback: 954 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New ed of 2 Revised ed edition (18 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571142265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571142262
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.4 x 5.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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About the Author

W. H. Auden was born in York in 1907, and W. H. Auden was born in York in 1907, and brought up in Birmingham. His first book, Poems, was published by T. S. Eliot at Faber in 1930. He went to Spain during the civil war, to Iceland (with Louis MacNeice) and later travelled to China. In 1939 he and Christopher Isherwood left for America, where Auden spent the next fifteen years lecturing, reviewing, writing poetry and opera librettos, and editing anthologies. He became an American citizen in 1946, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1948. In 1956 he was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and a year later went to live in Kirchstetten in Austria, after spending several summers on Ischia. He died in Vienna in 1973.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the great poets of the twentieth century 20 Aug 2005
By Craig Matteson - Published on
Wystan Hugh (W. H.) Auden is rightly regarded as one of the great poets of the twentieth century. He is one of my favorites because of his great skill with language, his ability to talk about everyday life in wonderfully insightful ways, and to sing while he helps us see what he sees. His even greater gift is to make his words feel as if they came from out of our own mind and heart. We want to possess them.

Yet, he was also a very learned man, but his learning always has a point about life rather than allowing him to step into a spotlight for our adulation. You can flip to any page of this volume and find something to wonder at. Even the plainest poems have depths to plumb and the seemingly obscure yield to patient reading.

While Auden has a somewhat complicated biography, it would be a mistake to get sidetracked in too many details. While knowing the life of an artist often aids our understanding of his work, it is also a mistake to see too many parallels in his work with the happenstance of his life. Great artists draw on their lives, but they also transcend them.

I am very grateful to have this volume in my library.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the old man. 27 Jan 2010
By M. Schwalbaum - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Auden is my favorite "modern" English poet (I hate TS Eliot and his fascist friend Pound, for their politics and posturing). I've loved Auden since my college days in the late 40's.(Yes. 1940's.) In those days the poems started with "Musee des Beaux Arts," included "Law Like Love" and "In Memory of W.B. Yeats." The songs started with "As I walked Out One Evening."
A fine clear voice, very even expressions, and sentiments that one could easily subscibe to. I tried to write like that (and in part succeeded). The copy in my library is dated 1945.
Recently I decided to share my love of Auden's poetry and ordered three copies of the book descibed in this listing. What a mistake! It appears that Auden after about 1940, and until the end of his apparently miserable life, changed his style and everything else about himself, AND rewrote, deleted and butchered his early work. What a sad revelation. Don't believe the old man.
I suggest you read the review by N. Dorward for Collected Poems (Modern Library) here at Amazon for more about this and WHICH AUDEN TO BUY AND READ.
Here it is in part--
"This volume makes me ultimately rather sad, that a poet with such enormous promise (the work he wrote in his early 20s is still utterly astonishing in its accomplishment & daring) never quite made good on it, & even came to hate much of his own best work. Turn to the _Selected Poems_ to get a better measure of what Auden was as a writer. "
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