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Wystan Hugh Auden was born in York, England, on February 21, 1907. He moved to Birmingham during childhood and was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. As a young man he was influenced by the poetry of Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost, as well as William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Old English verse. At Oxford his precocity as a poet was immediately apparent, and he formed lifelong friendships with two fellow writers, Stephen Spender and Christopher Isherwood.
In 1928, his collection Poems was privately printed, but it wasn't until 1930, when another collection titled Poems (though its contents were different) was published, that Auden was established as the leading voice of a new generation.
Ever since, he has been admired for his unsurpassed technical virtuosity and an ability to write poems in nearly every imaginable verse form; the incorporation in his work of popular culture, current events, and vernacular speech; and also for the vast range of his intellect, which drew easily from an extraordinary variety of literatures, art forms, social and political theories, and scientific and technical information. He had a remarkable wit, and often mimicked the writing styles of other poets such as Dickinson, W. B. Yeats, and Henry James. His poetry frequently recounts, literally or metaphorically, a journey or quest, and his travels provided rich material for his verse.
He visited Germany, Iceland, and China, served in the Spanish Civil war, and in 1939 moved to the United States, where he met his lover, Chester Kallman, and became an American citizen. His own beliefs changed radically between his youthful career in England, when he was an ardent advocate of socialism and Freudian psychoanalysis, and his later phase in America, when his central preoccupation became Christianity and the theology of modern Protestant theologians. A prolific writer, Auden was also a noted playwright, librettist, editor, and essayist. Generally considered the greatest English poet of the twentieth century, his work has exerted a major influence on succeeding generations of poets on both sides of the Atlantic.
W. H. Auden served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1954 to 1973, and divided most of the second half of his life between residences in New York City and Austria. He died in Vienna on September 29, 1973.
Collected Poems (Random House, 1976)
Thank You, Fog: Last Poems (Random House, 1974)
Epistle to a Godson (Faber and Faber, 1972)
Academic Graffiti (Faber and Faber, 1971)
City Without Walls and Other Poems (Random House, 1969)
Collected Longer Poems (Random House, 1968)
Collected Shorter Poems 1927-1957 (Faber and Faber, 1966)
About the House (Random House, 1965)
Homage to Clio (Faber and Faber, 1960)
Selected Poetry (1956)
The Old Man's Road (Voyages Press,1956)
The Shield of Achilles (Random House, 1955)
Nones (Random House, 1951)
Collected Shorter Poems 1930-1944 (Faber and Faber, 1950)
The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue (Random House, 1947)
The Collected Poetry of W. H. Auden (Random House, 1945)
For the Time Being (Random House, 1944)
The Sea and the Mirror (1944)
The Double Man (Random House, 1941)
The Quest (1941)
Another Time (Random House,1940)
Selected Poems (Faber and Faber, 1938)
Spain (Faber and Faber, 1937)
Look, Stranger! (Faber and Faber, 1936)
The Orators (Faber and Faber, 1932)
Poems (privately printed, 1928)
Forewords and Afterwords (Random House, 1973)
Selected Essays (Faber and Faber, 1964)
The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays (Random House, 1962)
The Enchaféd Flood (Random House, 1950)
Journey to a War (Faber and Faber, 1939)
Letters from Iceland (Random House, 1937)
Selected Poems by Gunnar Ekelöf (1972)
On the Frontier (1938)
The Ascent of F.6 (Faber and Faber, 1936)
The Dog Beneath the Skin: or, Where is Francis? (Faber and Faber, 1935)
The Dance of Death (Faber and Faber, 1933)
Paid On Both Sides (1928)
Motives of Adolf Hitler in Auden's Epitaph on a Tyrant and September 1, 1939
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Adolf Hitler was a very powerful man, and had a disturbing vision of how the world should be. W.H. Auden was interested in Adolf Hitler, and this interest can be seen in Auden’s poetry. September 1, 1939 and Epitaph on a Tyrant are two poems in which Auden scrutinizes Hitler’s actions. Auden uses symbolism in these two poems to illustrate the different aspects of Hitler’s life and actions. To begin with, Epitaph on a Tyrant personified Hitler’s obsession with “perfection of a kind.” The obsession with “perfection” that Hitler held and the dream of a world where blonde hair and blue eyes ruled upset Auden. To attempt genocide on all non-Aryan races was an atrocity and Epitaph on a Tyrant embodied Auden’s emotions of the ethnic cleansing…show more content…
With the army he had raised, Hitler was able to invade Poland on September 1, 1939 and instigate the largest scale war to date. Speaking of September 1, 1939, the poem September 1, 1939 sheds a lot of light on Hitler’s regime. September 1, 1939 gives insightful knowledge stating, “From Luther until now / That has driven a culture mad.” This sums up the reason that could explain why Hitler was obsessed with the Aryan race. Lutheran is a religion that is prevalent in most of Germany. The founder, Martin Luther, was anti-Semitic. For this reason, many Germans were brought up to be anti-Semitic. Martin Luther’s principles no doubt had a large influence on the German people, especially the Nazis. September 1, 1939 gave reasons as to why the Nazis and Hitler held such hatred towards minority groups. September 1, 1939 also questions Hitler’s past and shows how parenting may have had a large effect on Hitler’s future actions. To understand Hitler’s past, one must “find what occurred at Linz.” Hitler grew up in the town of Linz, which is in Austria. His father frequently beat him when he was growing up and denied Adolf the right to follow Adolf’s dream and become an artist. During the war, Hitler turned Linz into an artillery practice field and blew it to smithereens.