Wystan Hugh Auden

Wystan Hugh Auden Poems

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.
...

Did you ever hear about Cocaine Lil?
She lived in Cocaine town on Cocaine hill,
She had a cocaine dog and a cocaine cat,
They fought all night with a cocaine rat.
...

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
...

A cloudless night like this
Can set the spirit soaring:
After a tiring day
The clockwork spectacle is
...

As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.
...

Each lover has some theory of his own
About the difference between the ache
Of being with his love, and being alone:
...

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.
...

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.
...

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
...

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
...

At last the secret is out,
as it always must come in the end,
the delicious story is ripe to tell
to tell to the intimate friend;
...

Dear, though the night is gone,
Its dream still haunts today,
That brought us to a room
Cavernous, lofty as
...

For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is today in which we live.
...

Unrhymed, unrhythmical, the chatter goes:
Yet no one hears his own remarks as prose.

Beneath each topic tunelessly discussed
...

(for Cyril Connolly)

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
...

I
This is the night mail crossing the Border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
...

(To JS/07/M/378/ This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
...

I

He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
...

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
...

(for John and Teckla Clark)

Ours yet not ours, being set apart
As a shrine to friendship,
...

Wystan Hugh Auden Biography

Born in York, England, in 1907, he moved to Birmingham with his family during his childhood and was educated at Christ's Church, Oxford. As a young man he was influenced by the poetry of Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost, as well as William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Old English verse. At Oxford his precocity as a poet was immediately apparent, and he formed lifelong friendships with two fellow writers, Stephen Spender and Christopher Isherwood. In 1928, Auden published his first book of verse, and his collection Poems, published in 1930, which established him as the leading voice of a new generation. Ever since, he has been admired for his unsurpassed technical virtuosity and an ability to write poems in nearly every imaginable verse form; the incorporation in his work of popular culture, current events, and vernacular speech; and also for the vast range of his intellect, which drew easily from an extraordinary variety of literatures, art forms, social and political theories, and scientific and technical information. He had a remarkable wit, and often mimicked the writing styles of other poets such as Dickinson, W. B. Yeats, and Henry James. His poetry frequently recounts, literally or metaphorically, a journey or quest, and his travels provided rich material for his verse. He visited Germany, Iceland, and China, served in the Spanish Civil war, and in 1939 moved to the United States, where he met his lover, Chester Kallman, and became an American citizen. His own beliefs changed radically between his youthful career in England, when he was an ardent advocate of socialism and Freudian psychoanalysis, and his later phase in America, when his central preoccupation became Christianity and the theology of modern Protestant theologians. A prolific writer, Auden was also a noted playwright, librettist, editor, and essayist. Generally considered the greatest English poet of the twentieth century, his work has exerted a major influence on succeeding generations of poets on both sides of the Atlantic. W. H. Auden was a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets from 1954 to 1973, and divided most of the second half of his life between residences in New York City and Austria. He died in Vienna in 1973.)

The Best Poem Of Wystan Hugh Auden

Funeral Blues

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.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

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 forever: I was wrong.

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.

Wystan Hugh Auden Comments

Wu Xian Gao Lin 15 June 2010

I love the rhythm and use of language in Auden's poetry.

31 7 Reply
Dmitry Garanin 14 January 2015

How Auden can be rated within 500 top poets having no poems at all at this site (due to Copyright) . As users cannot rate poems, is his rating assigned by the admin?

9 5 Reply
Bijay Kant Dubey 01 August 2017

Who has not heard the name of Auden? Auden is definitely one of the stalwarts of the post-fifties, the post-war period with a reading of his own, a poet of the Age of Anxiety full of bewilderment, loss of lives and human casualty rarely felt and expressed elsewhere. With his base rooted in socialism, Freudian psychoanalysis and Leftism, he went his way alone writing with technical expertise, inducting the commonly speech and others.

6 1 Reply
Ray Burleigh 23 April 2016

What a wonderful gesture, that although he is not here (due to copywriter laws?) he is still here. Go find his magnificent poems, they are everywhere. My personal favorite is...in memory of William Butler Yates. RB

3 1 Reply
steve reischling 27 August 2020

Why isn't " Domesday Song" or " Doomsday Song" on this site? Why?

0 0 Reply
Michael Walker 24 February 2020

I would like to see Auden's haunting ballad 'Refugee Blues' on Poem Hunter. Auden's best poems are first class. He wrote very ordinary poems too.

0 0 Reply
Michael Walker 07 August 2019

I like Auden's 'Refugee Blues' very much.

0 0 Reply
sairusi vakaloloma 20 February 2019

very bright person...smart person

1 0 Reply
Rupert Fanning-Goldsmith 25 March 2018

Yes it's pedantic, but it's Christ Church, Oxford - there is no 's

4 1 Reply

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