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Selected Poems Paperback – February 13, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Poetry is, of course, a very personal taste, and one man's favourite poem is another's jumble of ill-chosen words. That being said, it is difficult, to my mind, to find poems written in this century which surpass 'Oxford', 'Musée des Beaux Arts', 'In Memory of W. B. Yeats', 'Et in Arcadia Ego'...the list is practically as long as the table of contents. No matter the subject (even to something as curious as 'In Praise of Limestone'), Auden has words for us, words which are as powerful, as moving now as they were the day they were put to paper.
In short, if you are at all tempted by poetry, this volume is certainly worth your time.
The poems that Mendelson, Auden's literary executor, selected for this volume are printed here in their first book-published versions. Mendelson also edited Auden's "Collected Poems," from which Auden himself excluded some poems and for which he revised others. Mendelson discusses the choice between "Selected Poems" and "Collected Poems" in the Introduction to this book:
"The present selection ... [reprints] the texts of Auden's early editions and [includes] poems that he later rejected. A historical edition of this kind, one that reflects the author's work as it first appeared in public rather than his final version of it, is not intended as an argument that Auden's revisions or rejections were arbitrary or misguided; he had strong literary and ethical motives for choosing them, and in almost every instance they produced versions of his poems that were more coherent and complex than the originals. Probably the best way to experience Auden's work is to read the early versions first for their greater immediate impact, and the revised versions afterward for their greater subtlety and depth. For most readers this book will be a First Auden, and the edition of his 'Collected Poems' that was published posthumously according to his final intentions may be recommended as a Second."
Auden's writing varied as to subject, style, and type as he aged. Love poems, politics, culture, morals, individuals; what a wealth of poetry the public has from Auden because of the number of years he lived and wrote. Twenty poems have been added to this expanded edition including some of Auden's lighter poems. This aids the reader, student, or lover of Auden to see a more complex, complete, fuller and well-rounded poet.
A nice touch within the volume was the inclusion of brief notes explaining references that might be unclear. Other positive features consisted of chronological arrangement of material, and an index of titles and first lines.
Armchair Interviews says: A must for all Auden students, whether a casual reader or lover of his poetry.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are levels in Auden’s work that the reader will never tire of. This is a book for forever. Auden’s richness would have been wasted on me until I was over 40 years old,... Read morePublished 14 months ago by T. M. Teale
Awesome. He's a legendary writer, not just his famous poem from Four Weddings and a Funeral.Published 21 months ago by Rob
A few poems are amazing, but the most of them are so old and antiquated I just feel stupid trying to read them - I just don't get all the old references he is making.Published 24 months ago by John Bowman
Somehow, people like Auden get into the public awareness. It is the kind of thing that no one really understands, but they are up front about pretending that they do. Read morePublished on April 3, 2014 by RWH
This is the revised edition of a selection of Auden's poems. Both this edition and the original selection were prepared by Auden's literary executor, Edward Mendelson. Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by R. Albin
My rating is based on the omission of For The Time Being. I just assumed it would be included, even though it is a very long poem. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Adriana49
Wallace Stevens was tops for the 19th century; W H Auden is tops for 20th century. Just amazingly insightful stuff, deep and prudent writing. Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Shane Carroll