The son of a clergyman, Richard Wilson was born on 1 Augustthe family was an established one, and Wilson was first cousin to Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden.
Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.
His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content. The central themes of his poetry are love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature.
Auden grew up in Birmingham in a professional middle class family and read English literature at Christ Church, Oxford.
His early poems, written in the late s and early s, alternated between telegraphic modern styles and fluent traditional ones, were written in an intense and dramatic tone, and established his reputation as a left-wing political poet and prophet.
He became uncomfortable in this role in the later s, and abandoned it after he moved to the United States inwhere he became an American citizen in His poems in the s explored religious and ethical themes in a less dramatic manner than his earlier works, but still combined traditional forms and styles with new forms devised by Auden himself.
In the s and s many of his poems focused on the ways in which words revealed and concealed emotions, and he took a particular interest in writing opera librettos, a form ideally suited to direct expression of strong feelings.
He was also a prolific writer of prose essays and reviews on literary, political, psychological and religious subjects, and he worked at various times on documentary films, poetic plays and other forms of performance. Throughout his career he was both controversial and influential.
After his death, some of his poems, notably "Funeral Blues" "Stop all the clocks" and "September 1, ", became widely known through films, broadcasts and popular media.
He was the third of three children, all sons; the eldest, George Bernard Auden, became a farmer, while the second, John Bicknell Auden, became a geologist. Auden's grandfathers were both Church of England clergymen; he grew up in an Anglo-Catholic household which followed a "High" form of Anglicanism with doctrine and ritual resembling those of Roman Catholicism.
He traced his love of music and language partly to the church services of his childhood. He believed he was of Icelandic descent, and his lifelong fascination with Icelandic legends and Old Norse sagas is visible throughout his work.
In his family moved to Harborne, Birmingham, where his father had been appointed the School Medical Officer and Lecturer later Professor of Public Health; Auden's lifelong psychoanalytic interests began in his father's library.
From the age of eight he attended boarding schools, returning home for holidays. His visits to the Pennine landscape and its declining lead-mining industry figure in many of his poems; the remote decaying mining village of Rookhope was for him a "sacred landscape", evoked in a late poem, "Amor Loci.
At thirteen he went to Gresham's School in Norfolk; there, inwhen his friend Robert Medley asked him if he wrote poetry, Auden first realized his vocation was to be a poet.
Soon after, he "discover ed that he had lost his faith" through a gradual realisation that he had lost interest in religion, not through any decisive change of views. His first published poems appeared in the school magazine in Essays by Divers Hands In he went up to Christ Church, Oxford, with a scholarship in biology, but he switched to English by his second year.
Friends he met at Oxford included Cecil Day Lewis, Louis MacNeice, and Stephen Spender; these four were commonly though misleadingly identified in the s as the "Auden Group" for their shared but not identical left-wing views.
Auden left Oxford in with a third-class degree. He was reintroduced to Christopher Isherwood in ; for the next few years Isherwood was his literary mentor to whom he sent poems for comments and criticism. Auden probably fell in love with Isherwood and in the s they maintained a sexual friendship in intervals between their relations with others.
In —39 they collaborated on three plays and a travel book. From his Oxford years onward, his friends uniformly described him as funny, extravagant, sympathetic, generous, and, partly by his own choice, lonely. In groups he was often dogmatic and overbearing in a comic way; in more private settings he was diffident and shy except when certain of his welcome.
He was punctual in his habits, and obsessive about meeting deadlines, while choosing to live amidst physical disorder. Britain and Europe, — In the autumn of Auden left Britain for nine months in Berlin, partly to rebel against English repressiveness.
In Berlin, he said, he first experienced the political and economic unrest that became one of his central subjects. On returning to Britain inhe worked briefly as a tutor. In his first published book, Poemswas accepted by T.
Eliot for Faber and Faber; the firm also published all his later books. In he began five years as a schoolmaster in boys' schools: At the Downs, in Junehe experienced what he later described as a "Vision of Agape," when, while sitting with three fellow-teachers at the school, he suddenly found that he loved them for themselves, that their existence had infinite value for him; this experience, he said, later influenced his decision to return to the Anglican Church in During these years, Auden's erotic interests focused, as he later said, on an idealized "Alter Ego" rather than on individual persons.
His relations and his unsuccessful courtships tended to be unequal either in age or intelligence; his sexual relations were transient, although some evolved into long friendships.W.
H. Auden is considered one of the finest English or American poets and one of the best poets of the 20th century. He is an exemplar of modernism along with T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, but his later poetry differs vastly from his earlier work; critics often speak of early, middle, and late stages.
According to Auden’s hand-picked literary executor, Edward Mendelson, in his essay “Revision and Power: The Example of W.
H. Auden,” Auden deemed these poems deeply revolting and revised an estimated three quarters of his canon.
May 31, · The poem I have chosen for this base is The Unknown Citizen. I felt the time stopover reflected W.H. Audens views, earn the unknown citizen an example of the establishments view of the perfect modern fleck of music in an overrated kafkaesque society.
Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February – 29 September ), who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content.
The facts gathered on the Unknown Citizen also have a rather ominous aura, and it seems likely that this poem is a searing commentary on the bureaucratic Western states that claim to offer freedom but really do not understand the individual's unique needs.
Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February – 29 September ) was an English-American poet. Auden's poetry was noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with politics, morals, love, and religion, and its variety in tone, form and content.