W.h. Auden Quotes

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Evil is unspectacular and always human, And shares our bed and eats at our own table... -W.H. Auden
All we are not stares back at what we are. -W.H. Auden
You shall love your crooked neighbour, with your crooked heart. -W.H. Auden
The friends who met here and embraced are gone, Each to his own mistake; -W.H. Auden
The basic stimulus to the intelligence is doubt, a feeling that the meaning of an experience is not self-evident. -W.H. Auden
Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings. -W.H. Auden
I will love you forever
O stand, stand at the window As the tears scald and start; You shall love your crooked neighbour With your crooked heart. -W.H. Auden
And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom. -W.H. Auden
Poetry makes nothing happen. -W.H. Auden
All the rest is silence On the other side of the wall; And the silence ripeness, And the ripeness all. -W.H. Auden
Every poet has his dream reader: mine keeps a look out for curious prosodic fauna like bacchics and choriambs. -W.H. Auden
no poet can know what his poem is going to be like until he has written it. -W.H. Auden
In the prison of his days Teach the free man how to praise -W.H. Auden
Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. -W.H. Auden
Soft as the earth is mankind and both need to be altered. -W.H. Auden
Happy the hare at morning, for she cannot read The hunter's waking thoughts. -W.H. Auden
Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self. -W.H. Auden
A child's reading is guided by pleasure, but his pleasure is undifferentiated; he cannot distinguish, for example, between aesthetic pleasure and the pleasures of learning or daydreaming. In adolescence we realize that there are different kinds of pleasure, some of which cannot be enjoyed simultaneously, but we need help from others in defining them. Whether it be a matter of taste in food or taste in literature, the adolescent looks for a mentor in whose authority he can believe. He eats or reads what his mentor recommends and, inevitably, there are occasions when he has to deceive himself a little; he has to pretend that he enjoys olives or War and Peace a little more than he actually does. Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity. Few of us can learn this without making mistakes, without trying to become a little more of a universal man than we are permitted to be. It is during this period that a writer can most easily be led astray by another writer or by some ideology. When someone between twenty and forty says, apropos of a work of art, 'I know what I like, 'he is really saying 'I have no taste of my own but accept the taste of my cultural milieu', because, between twenty and forty, the surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it. After forty, if we have not lost our authentic selves altogether, pleasure can again become what it was when we were children, the proper guide to what we should read.

W.H. Auden
Murder is commoner among cooks than among members of any other profession. -W.H. Auden
Without art, we should have no notion of the sacred; without science, we should always worship false gods. -W.H. Auden
In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag. -W.H. Auden
The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in. -W.H. Auden
A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us. -W.H. Auden
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