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W. H. Auden Quotes

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W. H. Auden
February 21, 1907 - September 29, 1973
Nationality: English
Category: Poet
Subcategory: English Poet

To save your world you asked this man to die; would this man, could he see you now, ask why?


A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.


Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.

    Topics: Marriage

My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain.


When I am in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes.


May it not be that, just as we have to have faith in Him, God has to have faith in us and, considering the history of the human race so far, may it not be that "faith" is even more difficult for Him than it is for us?


In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.


It's a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.


Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.


Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist.


I'll love you, dear, I'll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street.


The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.


It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.


One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.


Almost all of our relationships begin and most of them continue as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.


Art is born of humiliation.

    Topics: Art

Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.


Men will pay large sums to whores for telling them they are not bores.


A poet can write about a man slaying a dragon, but not about a man pushing a button that releases a bomb.


The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.


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