For many years there existed a general feeling that the selection made by Auden himself in 1968 was far from satisfactory. This edition contains an introduction which is an examination of the nature of Auden's genius and of his position and stature in 20th-century literature.
For many years there existed a general feeling that the selection made by Auden himself in 1968 was far from satisfactory. It was too short to provide a full introduction to such a large body of work; perhaps it was too weighted in favour of the later poetry; at the time it was made some famous poems, or portions of poems were still under an embargo imposed by Auden himself which remained in force until his death. This edition contains an introduction which is an examination of the nature of Auden's genius and of his position and stature in 20th-century literature.
W. H. Auden was born in York in 1907, and brought up in Birmingham. He went to Christ Church College, Oxford, where Stephen Spender privately printed a booklet of his poems. After university he lived for a time in Berlin, before returning to England to teach. His first book, Poems, was published by T. S. Eliot at Faber in 1930. Other volumes of poems and plays followed during the 1930s. 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.
Selected Poems by W. H. Auden
W. H. Auden
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Faber & Faber
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