Auden, W. H. (1907-1973)

A selective list of online literary criticism for the English poet and librettist (who became a US citizen) W. H. Auden, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources


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introduction & biography

Hammer, Langdon. "Lecture 22 - W. H. Auden." The first of two lectures on Auden. Says Prof. Hammer, "This lecture presents the early poetry of W. H. Auden. In 'From the Very First Coming Down,' Auden's relationship to the reader is considered, as well as the role of economy, truth, and morality in his poetics. The political Auden is examined in 'Spain' and 'September 1, 1939,' along with his later practice of revising controversial poems. Finally, his interest in traditional forms, his vision of love, and his characteristic perspectivism, are explored in 'This Lunar Beauty' and 'As I Walked Out One Evening.'" [2 lectures]. Audio, video, and transcript from Professor Hammer's class at Yale, ENGL 310: Modern Poetry, Spring, 2007.

"W. H. Auden." The more accurate, archived version of the Wikipedia.org entry on Auden, recommended by the W. H. Auden Society. The Auden Society urges online researchers to consult this article rather than the current Wikipedia article on Auden.

"W. H. Auden." Encyclopedia-type introduction to Auden's themes, style, and techniques, includes a biography and text for some of his most famous poems. Also, a bibliography of his books and a selected reading list. Poetry Foundation.

"W. H. Auden." An introduction, additional articles on related poets, on Auden's collaborations with musicians, also text for some of Auden's most famous poems and audio of Auden reading his own work. Academy of American Poets.

"W. H. Auden." An introduction and brief biography for Auden from educational publisher Pearson/Longman.

"W. H. Auden," The Art of Poetry No. 17. Auden is interviewed in the Paris Review 57 (Spring 1974).

Bucknell, Katherine, ed. "First loves chapter and verse." On Auden's early poems, "rooted in guilt and desire," and Katherine Bucknell's W. H. Auden: Juvenilia. In the Guardian 31 July 1994.

Bucknell, Katherine. "In praise of a guilty genius: Britain has a curious ambivalence towards the poet and critic W. H. Auden, in part since he 'abandoned' England for the US in the 1930s." Centenary article on W. H. Auden. Guardian 4 Feb. 2007.

Jenkins, Nicholas. "The Travelling Auden." On W. H. Auden's various residences and travels, Auden Society Newsletter, 24 (July 2004).

Mendelson, Edward. "Clouseau Investigates Auden." Auden authority Edward Mendelson sets the record straight about Auden's possible connection with the flight of the Soviet spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean in 1951. Auden Society, 2007.

Mendelson, Edward. "Celebrating Auden's Timeless Message." Prof. Mendelson talks about Auden and discusses "Funeral Blues" (audio file). National Public Radio presentation, 21 Feb. 2007.

Kimball, Roger. "The permanent Auden." Kimball attempts to define Auden's poetic stature. The New Criterion 17, 9 (May 1999).

O'Neill, Michael. "W. H. Auden." A substantial introduction to W. H. Auden, from the Literary Encyclopedia [subscription service].


Auden Society recommended biographies

Clark, Thekla. A review of Wystan and Chester: A Personal Memoir of W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman In New York Times 22 Sept. 1996.

Carpenter, Humphrey. A review of W. H. Auden: A Biography In New York Times 22 Sept. 1996.

Davenport-Hines, Richard. "Uncle Wystan." On Auden's life and Richard Davenport-Hines's biography of him, Auden, reviewed by John Tranter.


literary criticism

Berryman, John. "Auden's Prose." One great poet reviews another's prose writing: Berryman on Auden's The Dyer's Hand. In NY Review of Books 1 Feb. 1963.

Bloom, Robert. "The Humanization of Auden's Early Style." PMLA 83, 2 (May 1968) pp 443-54 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Bone, Christopher. "W. H. Auden in the 1930's: The Problem of Individual Commitment to Political Action." Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 4, 1 (Spring 1972) pp 3-11 [jstor first page only].

Cappeluti, Jo-Anne. "Thank you, fog: W. H. Auden as presiding genius." On Auden's address to the fog. Renascence 49, 4 (Summer 1997) [questia sub ser, substantial preview].

Dunn, Douglas. "Back and forth: Auden and political poetry." Critical Survey 6, 3 (1994) pp 325-35 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Firchow, Peter. "The American Auden: A Poet Reborn?" American Literary History 11, 3 (Autumn 1999) pp 448-79 [jstor preview or purchase].

Gottlieb, Susannah Young-Ah. "'Reflection on the right to will': Auden's 'Canzone' and Arendt's notes on willing" [and Hannah Arendt]. "Does God ever judge us by appearances? I suspect that he does." Comparative Literature 53, 2 (Spring 2001) pp 131-50 [jstor preview or purchase].

Grass, Sean C. "W. H. Auden, from Spain to 'Oxford.'" On Auden's poem "Spain 1937" as political verse. South Atlantic Review 66, 1 (Winter 2001) pp 84-101 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Jacobs, Alan. "Beyond Romanticism: Auden's Choice of Tradition." Religion & Literature 21, 2 (Summer 1989) pp 61-77 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Kirsch, Arthur. Auden and Christianity (Yale UP, 2005) [jstor, online edition by subscription].

Mendelson, Edward. "Revision and Power: The Example of W. H. Auden." Yale French Studies 89 (1996) pp 103-112 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Replogle, Justin. "Auden's Marxism." PMLA 80, 5 (Dec. 1965) pp 584-95 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Roberts, Beth Ellen. "W. H. Auden and the Jews." Journal of Modern Literature 28, 3 (Spring 2005) pp 87-108 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Smith, Stan. "Remembering Bryden's bill: Modernism from Eliot to Auden." Critical Survey 6, 3 (1994) pp 312-24 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Sharpe, Tony. "W. H. Auden and rules of disengagement." Critical Survey 6, 3 (1994) pp 336-42 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Taylor, Paul Beekman. "Auden's Icelandic Myth of Exile." Journal of Modern Literature 24, 2 (Winter 2000/2001) pp 213-34 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Waidson, H. M. "Auden and German Literature." The Modern Language Review 70, 2 (April 1975) pp 347-65 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].


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