Sunday, September 04, 2022

The complete Auden …

   … Love, Death and Music: The Poetry of W.H. Auden - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

One generalizes warily about Auden, given his scope. But what’s perhaps most notable about him is a fidelity of outlook or character. Over the decades, his style alters, radically; his poetic structures tirelessly mutate; his attitudes and subject matter veer and shift. But you read his poems from the 1930s and marvel at how much young Auden sounds like Auden; you read his wildly different poems from the ’70s and marvel anew at how much elderly Auden sounds like Auden. Something more encompassing than style or structure or subject matter is stably on display: one of the most charming sensibilities in the long, panoramic pageant of English verse.

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