In the relationship between Yeats and Heaney, poets of modern Ireland, that by W. H. Auden to suggest how deeply problematic a figure Yeats is for Heaney. .. and turning towards that which he trusts, which is an image or dream—all the. I must only remind you that there is usually a close connection be- tween the personal .. should exist, and since the intellect could not give it, one should trust to feel- ing. In the end, since it was by w.h. auden and christopher isherwood. Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February – 29 September ) was an English- American poet. . He contrasted these relationships with what he later regarded as the "marriage" (his .. least of the three major twentieth-century British and Irish poets, Yeats, Eliot, Auden, while a .. Nenthead: North Pennines Heritage Trust.
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. In Berlin, he first experienced the political and economic unrest that became one of his central subjects. In his first published book, Poemswas accepted by T. Eliot for Faber and Faberand the same firm remained the British publisher of all the books he published thereafter.
In he began five years as a schoolmaster in boys' schools: His relationships and his unsuccessful courtships tended to be unequal either in age or intelligence; his sexual relations were transient, although some evolved into long friendships.
He contrasted these relationships with what he later regarded as the "marriage" his word of equals that he began with Chester Kallman inbased on the unique individuality of both partners.
- W. H. Auden
- Auden Anxieties
Through his work for the Film Unit in he met and collaborated with Benjamin Brittenwith whom he also worked on plays, song cycles, and a libretto.
In he went to Spain intending to drive an ambulance for the Republic in the Spanish Civil Warbut was put to work broadcasting propaganda, a job he left to visit the front. His seven-week visit to Spain affected him deeply, and his social views grew more complex as he found political realities to be more ambiguous and troubling than he had imagined.
On their way back to England they stayed briefly in New York and decided to move to the United States. Auden spent late partly in England, partly in Brussels.
He had a gift for friendship and, starting in the late s, a strong wish for the stability of marriage; in a letter to his friend James Stern he called marriage "the only subject. He was embarrassed if they were publicly revealed, as when his gift to his friend Dorothy Day for the Catholic Worker movement was reported on the front page of The New York Times in Their departure from Britain was later seen by many as a betrayal, and Auden's reputation suffered.
Around this time, Auden met the poet Chester Kallmanwho became his lover for the next two years Auden described their relation as a "marriage" that began with a cross-country "honeymoon" journey.
He was told that, among those his age 32only qualified personnel were needed. In —42 he taught English at the University of Michigan. He was called for the draft in the United States Army in Augustbut was rejected on medical grounds. He had been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for —43 but did not use it, choosing instead to teach at Swarthmore College in — Strategic Bombing Surveystudying the effects of Allied bombing on German morale, an experience that affected his postwar work as his visit to Spain had affected him earlier.
In he became a naturalised citizen of the US.
Then, starting inhe began spending his summers in KirchstettenAustriawhere he bought a farmhouse from the prize money of the Premio Feltrinelli awarded to him in This fairly light workload allowed him to continue to spend winter in New York, where he lived at 77 St.
Mark's Place in Manhattan's East Villageand to spend summer in Europe, spending only three weeks each year lecturing in Oxford.
InAuden moved his winter home from New York to Oxford, where his old college, Christ Church, offered him a cottage, while he continued to spend summers in Austria. Never occurred to him. So he was, what, fifteen at this time. And he decided there and then not just to become a poet, but to become a great poet.
Auden Anxieties · LRB 30 August
And, extraordinarily for an undergraduate, he did write great poems while he was still in his very, very early twenties — or twenty, in fact. Yes, so shall we have a quick look at one of those?
So, he publishes a volume called Poems inand before that T. So he could write the most astonishingly assured, authoritative, convincing, original verse when he was still twenty, twenty-one, and an undergraduate at Oxford.
The first few lines: Control of the passes was, he saw, the key To this new district, but who would get it? He, the trained spy, had walked into the trap For a bogus guide, seduced by the old tricks.
How would you characterise that sort of voice? Yes, we have no idea, do we, from the poem, of any narrative details about what the different sides are in this Cold War, or this hot war.
W. H. Auden - Wikipedia
So, in the next four lines, you get: At Greenhearth was a fine site for a dam And easy power, had they pushed the rail Some stations nearer.
They ignored his wires: The bridges were unbuilt and trouble coming. But I think the modernity of the landscape is also kind of striking. So, part of his extraordinary kind of sensitivity to the epoch in which he was living historically was that he had spent some time in Germany after university.
Yes, I think Berlin was a kind of sexual liberation in many ways for Auden. I think he found there was … that because of the crisis in the deutschmark, he could live quite well on the money that he was being given by his parents.
He was very interested in Anglo-Saxon poetry, and yes, though he got his third at Oxford, he made better use, certainly, of the Anglo-Saxon bit of the course than many of those who have studied it since. They would shoot, of course, Parting easily two that were never joined. People are applying that, and they know what they mean.
So there are early poems by C. Day-Lewis, for example, or early poems by Stephen Spender, that you can see are really struggling to escape the extraordinarily kind of charismatic influence of this voice.
Question Me Again: Reflections on W. B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney
And I wonder if what Empson has in mind is not rather brilliantly exemplified by the next major work that Auden publishes, inwhich is this extraordinary and almost unclassifiable work called The Orators: Can you give us some sense of what this book is like?
It was very influential at the time. Auden himself, when it was republished insaid he must have been mad when he wrote it, and the person, he decided, who wrote it was on the border of mania, and either a fascist or a totalitarian of some kind.
And the epigraph to the whole volume is a striking one, I think. I mean, how accurate do you think that is? I think he could be a little bit contradictory about that. In some ways, he was quite a conservative in his political views, but in other ways he did write poems which kind of call for the death of the old gang, or imagine the six beggars attacking lords and taking over the high life. Fortunately, all these original … the English Auden, all the original versions, can be read now, rather than his revised versions of them.
Eliot Memorial Lectures and Other Crit Even so, the questions about poetic responsibility in relation to public atrocity which are raised here, in the context of Bloody Sunday, with a painful, even piercing, intensity remain unanswered in the poem, only to be raised again and again in the work of this much-haunted and endlessly self-questioning poet.
It could be, of course, that Heaney has to misread Yeats as kinder than he is in order to read him at all, has to transform him into a poet more manageably like himself.
But an adjustment in the direction of kindness is hardly what Bloom has in mind, or would permit, in his theory of misprision. Sometimes too, reading Bloom, you can feel that the contest between poets is conducted at an extraordinarily remote level of abstraction that does not leave much scope for the consideration of something essential in the relationship I have discussed here: From Burns to Heaney Oxfor It may also be a difficult education in the exemplary, and an education found where you might least expect it: As in all well regulated societies, contractual relationships of obligation, indebtedness and responsibility obtain.
But so too, and at the most intimate level, do relationships of challenge, inquiry, scrutiny and self-advancement. In my view, to attempt an engagement with form, to show how and why particular forms both derive from, and meet, specific contingencies, necessarily involves criticism in the processes of agency, and not only the agency of the individual poet, but the agency also of historical and political circumstance.
Heaney is braced but not bound by the Yeatsian heritage, difficult as that is to approach and assimilate, and in this he differs from many lesser poets. The questions it ends with are those of a Seamus Heaney who, even if now undaunted, turns aside, in the parenthesis of the final line, with what I take to be a wry, even embarrassed, but saving, moue at this act of his own presumption— the poet suddenly become examiner of the schoolboy Yeats, asking impossibly large questions which, if they can be answered at all, can be answered only by the next, and then the next, and then, again, the next poem: How habitable is perfected form?
And how inhabited the windy light? Set questions for the ghost of W. Oxford University Press,3. Faber and Faber,at Oxford University Press,