Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Today marks the centenary ...

... of Wystan Hugh Auden (this Wikipedia entry is approved by The Auden Society).

Here is a nice selection of his poems, including "Atlantis," a favorite of mine since I first read it (it seemed to be offering me personal advice).

Patrick Kurp posts some thoughts: Happy Birthday, Wystan! (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Wordcarving posts a tribute: This Lunar Beauty. (A hat tip to the Incomparable Minx.)

And Adam Kirsch offers and Homage to Auden. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Auden was a great poet. There has been no one like him since his death. I will add to this post as occasion warrants.

Update: Something doubly appropriate: Auden on Ash Wednesday . (Hat tip, Barbara Smith.)

Also, Ed Pettit advise in a comment that the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has made it's Auden entry available for the week: Auden, Wystan Hugh.

Update: Maxine tipped me off to this piece in the Sunday Times: Losers and limbo.

Update: Carla Bruni sings Auden and others. (Hat tip, Daniel Scott Buck.)

And here's an Auden quiz . Yours truly got 11 out of 15, described as '
Impressive. You are found by the "Bureau of Statistics to be one against whom there [is] no official complaint".' (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)


  1. The Oxford Dictionary of Ntional Biography has made available their entry on Auden for this week:

  2. So cross with myself -- Frida Hughes' monday Times column was very good on Auden, and they reprinted a lovely poem of his, I meant to send it to you, Frank, but fading memory being what it is....I forgot. (I read the paper in the morning on the train on the way to work; once I get there it all takes over and things leave that sad pretence I have for a mind).
    When I was younger, people (the literati) always put Auden and MacNiece up against each other, and I did respond more to MacNiece I have to say. But having read some Auden recently, I feel I'd like to read more -- thanks for the links to that end.
    One thing about Auden, my mother always told me "he was not a very nice man" (I now know what that was code for -- my mother had little time for "the love that dared not speak its name") -- so this kind of put me off, but I will revisit, trying to put that judgement behind me in reading his poems.

  3. What's funny, Maxine, is that I gather that, in the uncoded sense, Auden was rather a nice man. Thanks for the Frieda Hughes tip.