A history of W.H. Auden's poems from the time he moved to the USA in 1939, and of the events that went into them. It links the changes in Auden's intellectual, religious and domestic life with his shifting public roles, and reveals his struggles with the temptations of his growing fame.
Later Auden links the changes in Auden's intellectual, religious and domestic life with his shifting public roles - as representative of political causes, as a researcher working for the army in post-war Germany, as public moralist, lecturer and teacher, and above all as poet and thinker. Mendelson shows how Auden converted the success and later wreckage of his relationship with Chester Kallman into the seemingly impersonal meditations of his long poems, and explores the ways his later poetry celebrates the human body. Throughout he reveals the depth of Auden's struggles with himself and with the temptations of his growing fame, showing how these struggles gave shape to his imperishable art.
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