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W. H. Auden: Poems (Poet to Poet) Paperback – 7 Apr 2005


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W. H. Auden: Poems (Poet to Poet) + Collected Poems 1909-62
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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057122671X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571226719
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By J. Rivers on 22 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
For half a century I have skirted round Auden, apart from some short and well-known lyrics; I feared the longer ones were a bit dry and demanding. Then I agreed to teach him to adults. I bought a 300pp ''Selected'', and then a ''Collected'' up to the mid-50's but kept falling between stools as we all uncovered poems we liked individually but which were never to be found across all collections.

This 900pp. US edition is a huge boon tho' it takes 2 weeks to arrive.It reveals the whole arc of his writing life, his precocious early intelligence, his polymathic interests, how adventurous his emotional and sexual experiences were.... What emerges is a profoundly benign approach to human life, an experience that can be improved but never perfected, and that improvement is effected by facing and integrating our demons and uncertainties.. His poetic obituary to Yeats in 1939 ends:
'' In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.''

Towards the end of his life he wrote 'Thanksgiving for a habitat', celebrating his house in Austria. Twelve poems each evoking a room and a particular friend who'd stayed there with them. It's a humane, erudite sequence that leaves one with a delighted smile on one's face.

Even here it is not a complete Auden. There are some pieces the editor has not 'selected in' and some are not in because Auden disowned them. This includes the magnificent reflections on the coming war - 'September 1st, 1939'. A final observation - Auden was a fine reader of his own work, not over-emphatic as an actor might be, nor dead-pan as some poets seem to be as if to be animated might reactivate the stresses from which the poems originally emerged. It's worth hunting down some CDs. I found two - "The Spoken Word" - WHA - British Library/BBC.

John Rivers
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read the other reviews of a 900+ page book for Auden I thought this was going to be a bargain. Added to this confusion was the Amazon "Look Inside" feature which actually shows a different book, what the hell for I have no idea? The reality is that the John Fuller edition contains less than 100 pages and certainly NOT the 900 bumper thing I was expecting. So be warned, the John Fuller selected edition is NOT recommended when clearly there are better selections out there. Don't fall into the same mistake I did and order this pointless flimsy edition, look elsewhere.
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An interesting and personal collection of his poetry. The odd favourite is missing, but considering the width of the available choice, a worth while addition to any library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Show's there's more to Auden than the poem from Four Weddings and a Funeral. Good introduction and poems you can understand. What's not to love?
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By Penart on 23 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this anthology of Auden's poetry for my poetry reading society - good choice of poems although could have had a little more information.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. L. E. Jenkinson on 29 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback
The 'Look Inside' version of this collection actually seems to pertain to the now out-of-print Mendelson 'Selected Poems'. From a teaching point of view, in trying to locate an collection that actually contains the required poems for the IGCSE CIE course for students, this is incredibly lax of the publisher and constitutes false advertising.
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18 of 29 people found the following review helpful By B. Jonsson on 3 Jun 2005
Format: Paperback
Auden's poetry is one that you can understand. Down-to-earth,it
easily find it's way into my heart.
Most of us already knew "Funeral Blues", but there are atoher gems also.
Enjoy!
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