W. H. Auden (Writer)

#10454 W. H. Auden

Put the car away; when life fails What's the good of going to Wales? Here am I, here are you: But what does it mean? What are we going to do? .

W. H. Auden Quotes about life
#10455 W. H. Auden

To ask the hard question is simple, The simple act of the confused will. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about will
#10456 W. H. Auden

Dedication to Christopher Isherwood .

W. H. Auden Quotes about cat
#10457 W. H. Auden

Let us honour if we can The vertical man Though we value none But the horizontal one. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about man
#10458 W. H. Auden

I am beginning to lose patience With my personal relations. They are not deep And they are not cheap. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about patience
#10459 W. H. Auden

Look, stranger, on this island now The leaping light for your delight discovers, .

W. H. Auden Quotes about light
#10460 W. H. Auden

Now the leaves are falling fast, Nurse's flowers will not last; Nurses to their graves are gone, And the prams go rolling on. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about will
#10461 W. H. Auden

Cold, impossible, ahead Lifts the mountain's lovely head Whose white waterfall could bless Travellers in their last distress. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10462 W. H. Auden

Written with .

W. H. Auden Quotes about wit
#10463 W. H. Auden

Acts of injustice done Between the setting and the rising sun In history lie like bones, each one. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about history
#10464 W. H. Auden

First version written 1936, final version 1938; also known as "Stop all the clocks" - .

W. H. Auden
#10465 W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about wit
#10466 W. H. Auden

He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10467 W. H. Auden

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods; For nothing now can ever come to any good. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about man
#10468 W. H. Auden

Written January 1937; also known as Lullaby. .

W. H. Auden
#10469 W. H. Auden

Lay your sleeping head, my love Human on my faithless arm; Time and fevers burn away Individual beauty from Thoughtful children, and the grave Proves the child ephemeral; But in my arms till break of day Let the living creature lie: Mortal, guilty, but to me The entirely beautiful. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10470 W. H. Auden

Written March 1937 .

W. H. Auden
#10471 W. H. Auden

And the poor in their fireless lodgings, dropping the sheets Of the evening paper: "Our day is our loss, O show us History the operator, the Organiser, Time the refreshing river." And the nations combine each cry, invoking the life That shapes the individual belly and orders The private nocturnal terror: "Did you not found the city state of the sponge, "Raise the vast military empires of the shark And the tiger, establish the robin's plucky canton? Intervene. Descend as a dove or A furious papa or a mild engineer, but descend." .

W. H. Auden Quotes about life
#10472 W. H. Auden

On that arid square, that fragment nipped off from hot Africa, soldered so crudely to inventive Europe; On that tableland scored by rivers, Our thoughts have bodies; the menacing shapes of our fever Are precise and alive. For the fears which made us respond To the medicine ad and the brochure of winter cruises Have become invading battalions; And our faces, the institute-face, the chain-store, the ruin Are projecting their greed as the firing squad and the bomb. Madrid is the heart. Our moments of tenderness blossom As the ambulance and the sandbag; Our hours of friendship into a people's army. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about fear
#10473 W. H. Auden

To-morrow the rediscovery of romantic love, The photographing of ravens; all the fun under Liberty's masterful shadow; To-morrow the hour of the pageant-master and the musician, The beautiful roar of the chorus under the dome; To-morrow the exchanging of tips on the breeding of terriers, The eager election of chairmen By the sudden forest of hands. But to-day the struggle. To-morrow for the young the poets exploding like bombs, The walks by the lake, the weeks of perfect communion; To-morrow the bicycle races Through the suburbs on summer evenings. But to-day the struggle. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10474 W. H. Auden

The stars are dead. The animals will not look. We are left alone with our day, and the time is short, andHistory to the defeated May say Alas but cannot help nor pardon. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about time
#10475 W. H. Auden

Written November 1937 .

W. H. Auden
#10476 W. H. Auden

I'll love you, dear, I'll love you Till China and Africa meet, And the river jumps over the mountain And the salmon sing in the street, I'll love you till the ocean Is folded and hung up to dry And the seven stars go squawking Like geese about the sky. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10477 W. H. Auden

'O plunge your hands in water, Plunge them in up to the wrist; Stare, stare in the basin And wonder what you've missed. 'The glacier knocks in the cupboard, The desert sighs in the bed, And the crack in the tea-cup opens A lane to the land of the dead.'Lines 37-44 .

W. H. Auden Quotes about sin
#10478 W. H. Auden

Written December 1938 .

W. H. Auden
#10479 W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about suffering
#10480 W. H. Auden

They never forgot That even the most dreadful martyrdom must run its course Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse Scratches its innocent behind on a tree. Lines 9-13 .

W. H. Auden Quotes about life
#10481 W. H. Auden

Written January 1939 .

W. H. Auden
#10482 W. H. Auden

When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, And when he cried the little children died in the streets. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about children
#10483 W. H. Auden

Written February 1939 .

W. H. Auden
#10484 W. H. Auden

By mourning tongues The death of the poet was kept from his poems. But for him it was his last afternoon as himself, An afternoon of nurses and rumours; The provinces of his body revolted, The squares of his mind were empty, Silence invaded the suburbs. The current of his feeling failed: he became his admirers. Now he is scattered over a hundred cities And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections; To find his happiness in another kind of wood And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about happiness
#10485 W. H. Auden

Follow, poet, follow right To the bottom of the night, With your unconstraining voice Still persuade us to rejoice; With the farming of a verse Make a vineyard of the curse, Sing of human unsuccess In a rapture of distress; In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountains start, In the prison of his days Teach the free man how to praise. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about success
#10486 W. H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about hope
#10487 W. H. Auden

I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about children
#10488 W. H. Auden

Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about strength
#10489 W. H. Auden

The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about win
#10490 W. H. Auden

For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10491 W. H. Auden

All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky:There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10492 W. H. Auden

Defenceless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages:May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about change
#10493 W. H. Auden

Sad is , builder of cities, And weeping anarchic . .

W. H. Auden Quotes about sad
#10494 W. H. Auden

Base words are uttered only by the base And can for such at once be understood; But noble platitudes — ah, there's a case Where the most careful scrutiny is needed To tell a voice that's genuinely good From one that's base but merely has succeeded. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about words
#10495 W. H. Auden

Written January 1947 .

W. H. Auden
#10496 W. H. Auden

Unendowed with wealth or pity, Little birds with scarlet legs Sitting on their speckled eggs, Eye each flu-infected city. Altogether elsewhere, vast Herds of reindeer move across Miles and miles of golden moss, Silently and very fast. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about wealth
#10497 W. H. Auden

In a national capital Mirabeau and his set Attacked mystery ; the packed galleries roared And history marched to the drums of a clear idea, The aim of the Rational City, quick to admire, Quick to tire. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about history
#10498 W. H. Auden

Let us then Consider rather the incessant Now of The traveler through time, his tired mind Biased towards bigness since his body must Exaggerate to exist, possessed by hope... .

W. H. Auden Quotes about hope
#10499 W. H. Auden

We would rather be ruined than changed We would rather die in our dread Than climb the cross of the moment And let our illusions die. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about change
#10500 W. H. Auden

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about love
#10501 W. H. Auden

A million eyes, a million boots in line, Without expression, waiting for a sign. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about eyes
#10502 W. H. Auden

Out of the air a voice without a face Proved by statistics that some cause was just In tones as dry and level as the place: No one was cheered and nothing was discussed... .

W. H. Auden Quotes about wit
#10503 W. H. Auden

A crowd of ordinary decent folk Watched from without and neither moved nor spoke As three pale figures were led forth and bound To three posts driven upright in the ground. .

W. H. Auden Quotes about right

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