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Auden: Poems: Edited by Edward Mendelson (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series)

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

The Everyman's Library Pocket Poets hardcover series is popular for its compact size and reasonable price which does not compromise content. Poems: Auden is just another reminder of his exhilarating... This description may be from another edition of this product.

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I received the book in record time, and it was in superb condition - very well packaged also.

Pleasurable Volume

Auden reaches the general public in a way most poets, especially contemporary literary poets, fail. His themes, language, rhythm, imagery and form are no less brilliant for being understood. So many of his pieces reach across decades to contemporary experience, and most general readers come to his anthologies having heard one of his poems used effectively in contemporary media. Everyone who saw "Four Weddings and a Funeral" fell in love with "Funeral Blues," which was read in the funeral scene. This volume has it.His poem "September 1, 1939" circulated widely, especially via e-mail, as the anniversary of September 11 came around, is also attracting new interest. Unfortunately, that particular work is not included in this collection. All the same, it is a fine sampling of what Auden did across a long and prolific career. The edition has a nice physicality--a well produced hardcover, at a bargain price--perfect for leaving on the bedside or on an occasional table. This is poetry in an accessible package made for reading. It makes a good gift.

Some of the best poetry of the last century

This substantial selection from Auden's poems may well help the American reader get a first impression of one of the best poets of the last century. Born in England in 1907, Auden moved to the US in 1940 and became an important influence on many American poets of his time. Unfortunately he usually seems to be regarded as too British to become part of the canon. While there is a very British sense of irony and self-deprecation in many of these poems, the feelings they express are truly universal. What always strikes me about Auden is the musical quality of his poems and the huge number of memorable lines. There are so many verses which you won't forget although you've only read them one time or two, from the quirky: "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." to the more serious: "If equal affection cannot be / Let the more loving one be me."As these lines do already show, you do not need a dictionary do understand Auden. In contrast to the generation of Eliot and Pound before them, Auden and his friends wanted to write for the common reader and express the feelings of the people around them. Even today people can relate to this, as the Auden renaissance after the reading of one of his poems in the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral" proved.
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