lyrikline blog

Readings to remember: W.H. Auden

Posted in W.H. Auden by lyrikline on 20. March 2014

Anglo-American poet Wystan Hugh Auden (February 21, 1907 – September 29, 1973) is regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. He published about four hundred poems, including several really long poems, and more than four hundred essays and reviews about literature, history, politics, and many other subjects. His work is amongst others noted for its variety in tone, form and content.
For example, in this clip we see Auden reading a Doggerel [Knittelvers]. ‘Doggerel by a Senior Citizen‘ gives us the perspective of an old and curmudgeonly man, listing a dozen ways in which the world was worse in the 1960s than when he was growing up.

Here you will find the original text of ‘Doggerel by a Senior Citizen‘.

W.H. Auden was born in England, married Erika Mann later to provide her with a British passport, moved to the United States in 1939, where in 1946 he became an American citizen. From 1948 on, Auden began to spend the summers in Europe, first in Ischia, Italy, where he rented a house, then in Kirchstetten, Austria, where he bought a farmhouse in 1958.
In 1973, he died of a heart attack in a hotel room in Vienna and was buried in Kirchstetten, where he wanted to be buried, and to have a typical Austrian funeral.

Don’t miss this wonderful document of his 60th birthday celebration in Kirchstetten, Austria 1967, preserving the moment when the mayor and some local kids deliver their birthday wishes in rhymes.