How Auden settled for the wrong blond | Books | The Guardian
Saving Civilization: Yeats, Eliot, and Auden between the Wars. Nor do they help us understand their poetry, which at its most intense rises. Mateusz Marecki [email protected] A Debate on the Relationship between Poetry and Politics in W.H. Auden's In Memory of W.B. Yeats and A. Ostriker's Elegy. W.H. Auden's In Memoriam W.B. Yeats and A. Ostriker's Elegy Before the War are two pre-war elegies, in which personal and political dimensions are.
It's an extraordinarily good play.
It's about nothing at all, which is what makes it so good. Lady Windermere's Fan has some social references, which makes it not so good. But The Importance of Being Earnest isn't a bit dated.
Silly Yeats’s voice echoes through Auden’s most iconic poetry | Maynooth University
The trouble with Shaw's plays is that they're all brain and no body, which isn't good for the stage. There may not be any body in Earnest, but at least there are clothes. Obviously you have to see it - you can't just read it. And in the one after that: Someone asks him what he thinks of Robinson Jeffers.
I only talk about people who've been dead a long time. In private, it was a different matter. Here he is on Scott Fitzgerald: Chester gave it to me. Those long conversations between the Princeton man and his girl. One simply can't believe that he cared for her in the least.
All American writing gives the impression that Americans don't care for girls at all. What the American male really wants is two things: Everything else is society. You may say that this kind of definiteness is just a verbal trick, or proceeds merely from a childish desire to shock. But even this bizarre view of American male sexuality turns out to be based on something, observations of sexual behaviour recorded elsewhere.
A voice of his own
An opinion that seems at first affected may turn out to have a great deal of thought behind it. For instance, the idea that Lear won't do on stage was something that Auden did think, and that he argued in detail before an audience.
Once again we are lucky that among those who attended Auden's Shakespeare lectures in New York in the s were some assiduous note-takers, including Ansen. Arthur Kirsch managed to reconstruct these lectures in a splendid volume where we find that Auden believed the storm in Lear was not, as it were, a great big metaphor for what was going on in Lear's head. The storm was a storm, "without passion"; it paid no attention to the rights and wrongs of the play's plot.
King Lear is the one play of Shakespeare that, in the storm scene, really requires the movies. Most movies of Shakespeare make you want to say, it's very nice, but why must people say anything?
You want to see everything. If I agree with those who don't want to see King Lear on stage, it isn't because I don't think it's dramatic You may disagree with this, but Lear did eventually make at least one very good Japanese film.
Auden came very close to an ideal that eluded most poets in the 20th century: His ideas on drama were resonant: Ideally there would be no spectators. In practice every member of the audience should feel like an understudy. The basis of acting is acrobatics, dancing, and all forms of physical skill.
The music hall, the Christmas pantomime and the country house charade are the most living drama today. What happened to be missing for Auden was the ideal collaborator, the dramaturg or director who could shape and adapt his insights. He still wrote a volume's worth of plays, of which the best is The Dog Beneath the Skin, on which Isherwood was his co-author.
But he did not produce what Eliot briefly produced in Sweeney Agonistes, an original, and completely successful, concept of poetic drama. He turned to opera and wrote, with Chester Kallman, two important libretti: But the relationship with Benjamin Britten, from which one might have expected most, did not work out in the end.
Whether it could have done so might well be doubted: The editing of Auden, which has been such a success, has proceeded at its own grand pace: The guiding spirit in all this has been Edward Mendelson, Auden's literary executor who, along with scholars such as John Fuller, Nicholas Jenkins and Katherine Bucknell, have begun to make it possible for us to see and understand his life's work whole.
The large Collected Poems was first established three years after Auden's death he died in along the lines the poet would have wanted - that is to say, respecting his revisions and omissions, which were once so controversial but which were, after all, within his rights.
The English Auden, which came out ingave the reader access to most of the early work up to But one day there will be an even larger edition of all the poems, published, suppressed, rejected, revised, just as one day there will be what Auden did not want but is inevitable - a collected letters.
It is an immense amount of work, produced on a regime, whether it was drugs or alcohol, that eventually took its toll in the form of a great depression during the last year of his life, and an early - but much wished for - death. And it has been an immense amount of work for the scholars to lay the foundations for interpreting Auden's poetry.
Auden, after losing his faith in the ideology that pushed him to fight, disowned his fine propaganda piece. Ostriker see the role of poetry and a poet in shaping political awareness of a society. Due to its unique and ambiguous grammatical construction, the phrase can be read in two ways, either as an 3 A number of her poems realise such a fusion, among them Daffodils and The window at the moment of flame.
Paradoxically, as poetry has the capacity both to survive, just like D. Auden may also equivocally imply that now W. As far as A. Ostriker is concerned, it comes as a surprise that in her Elegy before the War she seems to be losing to some extent her implicit faith in poetry, becoming skeptical about its real power.
Yearning for a relief from the unbearable reality and finding out that the poetry of the old masters has ceased to lift her spirits, she begins, under the pretence that they are not in a position to change anything, to discredit her gurus who inspired her in the past. In addition, in the fourth section, she directly refers to the last section of W. Ostriker crowns her outbreak of sarcasm with the statement that W. Nor can the other poets who, in spite of soaking their poetries with universal and timeless ideas, have no significant effect upon contemporary societies.
It is, however, not clear why A. The main conclusion that may be made after the examination of both poems is that while W. Auden, in his In Memory of W. Yeats, highlights knowing that it can even elude death the importance of poetry in the political discourse, A. Even though from both poems an anti-war air radiates, it is now A. Ostriker who, referring to D. Auden, now more skeptical, by making his shield, symbolizing both art and war, the central motif in the poem, may imply that war and violence are inherently human and that art cannot do anything to prevent it.
In the context of the discussion of the relation between art and politics, the question A. Ostriker asks in the last stanza quoted at the beginning of the essay of her Poem Sixty Years after Auschwitz appears to be especially pertinent.
Undoubtedly, it points to the timeless dilemma whether poetry should be private, public or a mixture of both. Literature of the s, [in: Share via Email The lives of all great poets are a part of their poetry and cannot be separated from it. This would be as true of Homer, of whom we know nothing, as it is of Milton or Goethe, Byron or Mandelstam, about whom we know a great deal, some would say far too much.
Too conscious the process may have become and yet it seems natural enough. Auden, however, would have strongly disapproved. Old fashioned in this as in other ways he would have felt with Jane Austen and Henry James that the writer's life was in no case the reader's concern.
He wished for no biography; attempted to leave instructions against one. His reasons may have been less straighforward than he would have admitted.Lullaby by W.H. Auden in Bangla
His life had no figure in the carpet, no unexpected twists or intriguing skeletons, none of the reserved sacrament, as it were, which makes the profane so inquisitive about Eliot's personality and history. It was just an amiable mess, in which anything went, everything hung out. Not that Auden had the instincts or morals of a Bohemian - far from it - but his being had nothing mysterious about it, no hidden clue for the biographical sleuth to get after.
Perhaps, as many of us would, he feared the nothing that might be revealed rather than the too much. Humphrey Carpenter and Edward Mendelson have already gone over the ground biographically in a conscientious way and revealed at some length what might in any case have been guessed. Auden in Love is an amiable title, provided we do not expect new revelations, and do not take it as adding anything of significance to our image of the poet.