auden turns 100

Through, I got this link and followed it, because I greatly admire the work of W. H. Auden.

This note really did surprise and impress me:

When, a decade ago, I first investigated the trove of Auden’s letters held by the New York Public Library, I was struck by how often Auden turned over a sheet of stationery and, on the back of a letter to a friend, typed out a draft of a poem. And in most cases the published version of that poem would be dedicated to that friend. How many of our great modern poets do such a thing? It is a touching gesture, but also – especially for those of us with an exalted view of poetry – a challenging one.

Everyone should read at least some Auden. I particularly like “The Fall of Rome.”

Written on June 7, 2007