Another Time
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Another Time

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Contains poems about people, places and the intellectual climate of the times. This volume by Auden was published after his departure to America with Christopher Isherwood in January 1939.
Published 2007 by Faber (first published 1940)
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Courtney Johnston
In my first year at university, I discovered three poets on the shelves of the abundant Otago University bookshop. I used to pore over those shelves, agonise over them, allocate my pennies warily.

From that time, I have Seamus Heaney's Collected Poems - the thick book with the forest green cover. I fell for his earthiness, his precision, and the fierceness of his 'Mycenae Lookout'. I have three e.e. cummings; I fell for his playfulness, his eroticism, his tenderness. He matched perfectly that thi...more
Sarah Canavan
Well. I just love this collection. Whenever I get close to someone new, I get this urge to read aloud to them my favorite poems from this book. I usually just end up doing it when I am home and alone because I am shy.


I found a first American edition of this (without cover) at Powell's recently, and though it was pricey, I bought it because of the wonderful annotations within the pages. A previous owner of this copy had some very strong opinions on Auden's 1940 collection. Some highlights from t...more
Liam89
My favourite poet. "Looking up at the stars, I know full well, that for all they care, I can go to hell."
Eamon
Some really wonderful poems in this collection. Well worth checking out.
Ade Bd
I've decided to move this book to my read folder, but it has no finished date, its a 'forever dip into' book, books of poetry are like that, and, this being split between heavy and light, offers something for anyone who like words that rhyme.
Robert
Auden really had a knoack for getting under the skin. Read it.
Lili
Read many years ago and dip in occasionally.
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Wystan Hugh Auden who signed his works 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 central themes of his poetry are love, politics...more
More about W.H. Auden...
Selected Poems Collected Poems Tell Me the Truth about Love Auden: Poems As I Walked Out One Evening: Songs, Ballads, Lullabies, Limericks & Other Light Verse

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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 wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.”
206 likes
“SEPTEMBER 1, 1939

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.”
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