Mark's Reviews > Selected Poems

Selected Poems by W.H. Auden
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M_50x66
's review
Jun 19, 09

bookshelves: currently-reading

I'm re-reading Auden's poems out of this volume.

"What does the song hope for? And the moved hands/A little way from the birds, the shy, the delightful?"

Auden's verse is magnificent; he writes his villanelles and sonnets without a trace of the "unctious urbanity" that those forms are seen, by many readers today, to represent. He knows what he's doing, yet doesn't wantonly careen into that indecipherable "academic" enclave of poetry that finds such disdain for simple language and traditional forms. Auden wants to make things palpable, wants to leave you shaken yet better off in terms of how you think and feel about things. I'm in awe of that. Read "But I Can't" and tell me you aren't, too.
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