Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $1.47 (7%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
For the Time Being: A Chr... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $3.13
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio (W.H. Auden: Critical Editions) Hardcover – May 26, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.48
$13.25 $11.86

Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder
"Today Means Amen" by Sierra DeMulder
Explore this featured new release in Death, Grief & Loss Poetry. Learn more | See related books
$18.48 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio (W.H. Auden: Critical Editions)
  • +
  • The Good Book: Writers Reflect on Favorite Bible Passages
Total price: $39.34
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Auden's] four long poems . . . remain the astounding heart of his work. . . . In For the Time Being, the most successful of these poems, [the characters] are at once participants in the Nativity story and drunken New Yorkers."--Adam Gopnik, New Yorker

"Beautiful."--Mark Schorer, New York Times

"For the Time Being is efficiently annotated and interestingly introduced."--Lachlan MacKinnon, Times Literary Supplement

The oratorio . . . carries [its theme] through a series of resourceful modulations to a music-hall finale, setting the Flight into Egypt--'the Land of Unlikeness'--against a real-estate development of the Waste Land. The perplexities and strivings of the intellectual, the man with the mirror, are profoundly grasped and impressively orchestrated. . . . Auden, like most intelligent believers, affirms a positive faith by a kind of double negation, a denial of doubt, a questioning of skepticism. He is more adept at burying Caesar than at praising Christ, more anxious for a Messiah than confident in the Revelation."--Harry Levin, New Republic

"'The Christmas Oratorio' contains very fine passages, is amusing as well as being serious, and . . . has the power in some of the choruses, of bringing to mind the mighty chorales of Bach."--Stephen Spender, Time and Tide

"[A] long-awaited, happy-making edition. . . . I am incapable of reading the last pages of For the Time Being without tears. . . . The trip will be surreal, as For the Time Being often is, but it will end as For the Time Being ends, with 'joy.'"--John Timpane, Philadelphia Inquirer

"[S]plendid critical edition."--Cyntha Haven, Book Haven

About the Author

Alan Jacobs is the Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois. He previously edited Auden's The Age of Anxiety for this series, and is the author of several books, including most recently The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Series: W.H. Auden: Critical Editions
  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691158274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691158273
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
60%
4 star
0%
3 star
40%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a gorgeous edition of Auden's striking Advent meditation.

The introduction by Alan Jacobs is a lapidary interpretation of the poem's relationship to Auden's life and intellectual interests. Jacobs' textual notes enrich the reader's understanding of the poem without drifting into pedantry.

And the poem itself is a masterpiece.
Comment 10 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My own spiritual formation is such that until recently I would have never been open to read poetry as part of my faith journey. I was more a scripture man and reader of theological works. Congar, deLubak and the Saints opened new realities to me. But two years ago I made a silent retreat at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA and I began spiritual direction. A new world opened up to me. I began to find poetry opened me to a new dimensions in my spiritual journey, such as Love III by George Herbert. I still go back to that from time to time. "Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning If I lack'd anything. . . .'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and eat my meat.' So I did sit and eat."

But at this point, "For the Time Being" has not done that for me. Auden, when he wrote this, was himself early on his own journey back to Christ. Not to say there aren't some gems in this. There are: Joseph's demand for certainty is not met. He must follow the normal course of events on his unique journey. Same as for us. I likely will not be in the same place next year as as I am now, so I will go back to this next Advent. The Holy Spirit is full of surprises, and I am likely to find some in this work when I am ready.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just great. Should be read at Christmas
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
AJ nails it here. As always.
Comment 2 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Yesterday I finished W. H. Auden’s For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio, which, if intended for the ordinary (in a positive sense) faithful, fails due not to its intent – connecting the present (1942) with the time of the Birth – but in its T. S. Eliot-ish pretensions and confusions.

When we read Chaucer, for example, the obscurity is not intentional; he writes the plain Thames Valley English of his time, and we need notes only because we are separated from his language by 500 years.

When we read a modern poet, though, there should be no obscurity or a need for more than a very few notes. Such turbidity as “Love knows of no somatic tyranny; / For homes are built for Love’s accommodation / By bodies from the void they occupy” (p. 45) annoys the reader instead of enlightening or delighting him.

There are moments when the narrative works, as in this Roman proclamation which surely echoes early-war notices from the English government:

CITIZENS OF THE EMPIRE, GREETING. ALL MALE PERSONS
WHO SHALL HAVE ATTAINED THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE
YEARS OR OVER MUST PROCEED IMMEDIATELY TO THE
VILLAGE, TOWNSHIP, CITY, PRECINCT OR OTHER LOCAL
ADMINISTRATIVE AREA IN WHICH THEY WERE BORN AND
THERE REGISTER THEMSELVES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS IF
ANY WITH THE POLICE. WILFUL FAILURE TO CMPLY WITH
THIS ORDER IS PUNISHABLE BY CONFISCATION OF GOODS
AND LOSS OF CIVIL RIGHTS. (P. 29)

But this excellent mockery of governmentspeak is rare in its clarity.
Read more ›
1 Comment 3 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse