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Famous Auden Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Auden poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous auden poems. These examples illustrate what a famous auden poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...As I walked out one evening,Walking down Bristol Street,The crowds upon the pavementWere fields of harvest wheat. And down by the brimming riverI heard a lover singUnder an arch of the railway:'Love has no ending. 'I'll love you, dear, I'll love youTill China and Africa meet,And the river jumps over the mountain<...Read More



by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach,
The Ogre cannot master Speech:
About a subjugated plain,
Among its desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips. ...Read More

by Lindley, John
...A misprint in a newspaper reported: ‘Auden stepped from the train and was greeted by a small but enthusiastic crow.’

‘Hmm,’ Auden thought when first he saw
the bird, as train came to a stop,
‘I’ll make this image mine before
some Yorkshire upstart snaps it up.’

He drew a notebook from his mac’,
unclipped a biro from his tweed,
stared at the crow, the crow stared back
then recognising ...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...fatal flaw.

I poured over cabinets of case histories,

Tried living here and there and met an amah,

Teaching her Auden and Empson. Her tears mingled

With my own at our last hurried meeting

In a crowded tea room, teaching her Klein.

I sat through many a summer watching the children play,

Feeling a hermit’s contentment in his cave,

Contemplating Plato and envisioning that cave

Of his where shadows move against the wall;

And turn to see or fail to see

The ...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;He knew human folly like the back of his hand,And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,And when he cried the little children died in the streets....Read More



by Hacker, Marilyn
...of August, on a late

bus, in shorts, like a crew-cut, sunburned
bidasse. Sunburned, in shorts, a new haircut,
with Auden and a racing pulse I'd earned

by "not being sentimental about 
you," I sprinted to "La Populaire."
You walked into my arms when you got out.

At a two minute bus stop, who would care?
"La Populaire" puffed onward to Millau
while we hiked up to the hiatus where

we'd left ourselves when you left St. Guiraud
after an unambiguous decade
of fr...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...When there are so many we shall have to mourn,when grief has been made so public, and exposedto the critique of a whole epochthe frailty of our conscience and anguish, of whom shall we speak? For every day they dieamong us, those who were doing us some good,who knew it was never enough buthoped to improve a little by liv...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...IHe disappeared in the dead of winter:The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,And snow disfigured the public statues;The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.What instruments we have agreeThe day of his death was a dark cold day. Far from his illnessThe wolves ran on through the evergreen...Read More

by Tebb, Barry
...ways to the shutdown

Pipeworks where my three uncles

Worked their early manhood through.

It would have delighted Auden and perhaps

That was the bridge between us

Though we were of different generations

And by the time I began to write he had died.

All are gone except some few who may live still

But in their dotage.After my mother’s funeral

None wanted contact: I had been judged in my absence

And found wanting.

Durham was not my county,

Hardly my co...Read More

by Pastan, Linda
...unned on the pavement--
it was never simple, even for birds,
this business of nests.
The innocent eye sees nothing, Auden says,
repeating what the snake told Eve,
what Eve told Adam, tired of gardens,
wanting the fully lived life.
But passion happens like an accident
I could let the dough spill over the rim
of the bowl, neglecting to punch it down,
neglecting the child who waits under the table,
the mild tears already smudging her eyes.
We grow in such haphazard w...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...Among pelagian travelers,Lost on their lewd conceited wayTo Massachusetts, Michigan,Miami or L.A., An airborne instrument I sit,Predestined nightly to fulfillColumbia-Giesen-Management'sUnfathomable will, By whose election justified,I bring my gospel of the MuseTo fundamentalists, to nuns,to Gentiles ...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...s heard the yarn of Dan McGrew. . . .
Don't think your stuff I'm not applaudin' -
My taste is Eliot and Auden."

So we gravely bade adieu
I felt quite snubbed - and so would you,
And yet I shook him by the hand,
Impressed that he could understand
The works of those two tops I mention,
So far beyond my comprehension -
A humble bard of boys and barmen,
Disdained, alas! by Pullman carmen....Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...I sit in one of the divesOn Fifty-second StreetUncertain and afraidAs the clever hopes expireOf a low dishonest decade:Waves of anger and fearCirculate over the brightAnd darkened lands of the earth,Obsessing our private lives;The unmentionable odour of deathOffends the September night. Accurate scholarship c...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, 
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, 
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum 
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead 
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, 
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, 
Let the traffic police...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...The piers are pummelled by the waves;In a lonely field the rainLashes an abandoned train;Outlaws fill the mountain caves. Fantastic grow the evening gowns;Agents of the Fisc pursueAbsconding tax-defaulters throughThe sewers of provincial towns. Private rites of magic sendThe temple prostitutes to sleep;All the li...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...Looking up at the stars, I know quite wellThat, for all they care, I can go to hell,But on earth indifference is the leastWe have to dread from man or beast. How should we like it were stars to burnWith a passion for us we could not return?If equal affection cannot be,Let the more loving one be me. Admirer as I think I a...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
... She looked over his shoulderFor vines and olive trees,Marble well-governed citiesAnd ships upon untamed seas,But there on the shining metalHis hands had put insteadAn artificial wildernessAnd a sky like lead. A plain without a feature, bare and brown,No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood,Nothing to eat and ...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to beOne against whom there was no official complaint,And all the reports on his conduct agreeThat, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was asaint,For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.Except for the War till the day he retiredHe worked in a factory and...Read More

by Auden, Wystan Hugh (W H)
...Perfectly happy now, he looked at his estate.
An exile making watches glanced up as he passed
And went on working; where a hospital was rising fast,
A joiner touched his cap; an agent came to tell
Some of the trees he'd planted were progressing well.
The white alps glittered. It was summer. He was very great.

Far off in Paris whe...Read More

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