W. H. Auden

21 Jan 1907 // 29 Sep 1973


The Unknown Citizen (1)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be/ One against whom there was no official complaint,/ And all the reports on his conduct agree/ That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was...
Another Time

Tell Me the Truth about Love (2)

Some say love's a little boy,/ And some say it's a bird,/ Some say it makes the world go around,/ Some say that's absurd,/ And when I asked the man next-door,/ Who looked as if he knew,/ His wife got...

As I Walked Out One Evening (3)

As I walked out one evening,/ Walking down Bristol Street,/ The crowds upon the pavement/ Were fields of harvest wheat./ / And down by the brimming river/ I heard a lover sing/ Under an arch of the r...

All I Have Is a Voice (4)

I sit in one of the dives/ On Fifty-second Street/ Uncertain and afraid/ As the clever hopes expire/ Of a low dishonest decade:/ Waves of anger and fear/ Circulate over the bright/ And darkened lands...
Another Time

Funeral Blues (5)

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 ...
Another Time

The More Loving One (6)

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well/ That, for all they care, I can go to hell,/ But on earth indifference is the least/ We have to dread from man or beast./ / How should we like it were stars...



On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."