Short Notes On W.H. AUDEN

Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973) is one of the promising and prominent poet of a new group of young poets. He was interested in both psychology and literature and very soon he became a legendary figure. He studied Biology and literature and insisted that poetry should be clinical.

The poetry of Auden in this decade followed a clear strong up wand curve. It began with uncertainty and obscurity. Like all young poets, he had to work out his technique. At first he was hampered by a feeling common to his fellows that who were speaking in isolation. Auden made a series of experiment in poetic drama in 1930. The earliest of those was, The Dog Beneath the skin, a political and moral pebble in the form of an expressionist review or musical comedy. The most successful parts of it are the chorus with their magnificent sweeping views of contemporary English landscape. W.H. Auden in tandem with Christopher Asher wood used a technique to dramatisize a story of adventure probably suggested by the career of T.E. Lawrence. Although the play contains powerful passages yet it lacks unity and coherence. What is more his political and social satires are jumbled with Freudian psychology and an expected vein of sentimentality. The most successful attempt at a political morality play symbolizes the European crises.

Auden’s later development owes a good deal not only to Freud but also to Homer Groddeck and finally to Kierkegaard. Significantly the quality of his verse did not diminish however one became aware of the new breath of sympathy and understanding. Auden’s statement became simpler and harder and his coloring cleaner. in his latest work the social preoccupations have been almost entirely replaced but an attitude of humility and a renewed interest in the Christian values which will perhaps find one of its best interpreters.

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Auden may have been a romantic as far as his ideas are concerned but his poetic technique has always been almost Aristotelian in its austerity. Spender and Day Lewis are faced with the problems of subduing and giving shape to sensibilities which are primarily romantic to judge by the way in which they used words. His technique at its best is capable irony compassion. But the highly colored  material works into the poetry of Spender.

Evidently, Auden had a wide intellectual curious. He picked up ideas facts, Auden the preacher. Auden’s contributions to English poetry are of spectacular importance . The hallmark of his poetry was his intense, sincerity and a ceaseless efforts to make poetry reading pleasant and refreshing. Although, Auden borrowed techniques from his great masters yet he successfully assimilated and gave a stamp of his own personality.

In Auden’s poetry we find the burgeoning problems with which the modern age is faced with. He sincerely endeavours to mirror his age in its variegated forms. And true, he has been successful in the feelings of his heart in a very forceful language. The symbols and images used by Auden are easily intelligible. It is Auden’s effort to make poetry a pleasant reading.



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