THE Anglo-Irish poet W.B. Yeats throws up considerable challenges to any would -be biographer. (the others, since you ask, were T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens and W.H. Auden). write as obscurely about Yeats's relation to the occult as Yeats did himself. trust us to help them make sense of the world. This is an extreme example of a love/hate relationship, a more intense And yet Auden praised Yeats as the saviour of English lyric poetry and. In the relationship between Yeats and Heaney, poets of modern Ireland, that by W. H. Auden to suggest how deeply problematic a figure Yeats is for Heaney. .. and turning towards that which he trusts, which is an image or dream—all the.
Earlier, in the preceding sections, she claims she cannot defy the impression that the image of her dead mother does not accord with the true portrait she has.
W. H. Auden - Wikipedia
It is also essential to point to the fact that in her description of the death, A. By contrast, in the last section, the mother, still alive, is described not only as strong and energetic, but also, and this comes in stark contrast to the idealized image presented in the first section, as unpredictable, full of rage and 1 For example, many physical details in the work of I.
In like manner W. Auden, claiming, probably to the bafflement of his contemporaries, that W.
Auden partly introduces his anti-heroic theme which, in a nutshell, constitutes an anti-romantic statement that great deeds are not performed by geniuses, but by otherwise ordinary individuals. Moreover, to a degree evoking the motif of an isolated suffering from his Musee des Beaux Arts, W.
As regards the description of the process of dying, W. Auden makes an interesting use of urban metaphors, comparing W. Ostriker are equally engaged both with the personal and the political, the personal dimension in their elegies is either presented against the historical background in W.
Thereby, in the examined poems, the feeling of personal loss and grief mingles with an air of uncertainty and perplexity about war. What emanates from W. Furthermore, the following sequence is repeated twice: Auden makes a stark remark about the s Europe pervaded by an air of mutual hatred and suspicion. Ostriker juxtaposes the fact that they A. Ostriker is, she realizes that it is mainly innocent civilians, now at the mercy of a ruthless foreign army, that are in peril: Not only does the poet denounce the war in Palestine, she also, finding no justification for employing violence as the means of pressure, casts aspersions on American imperialism.
As regards American imperialism, it is interesting how America, which comes in for A. To some, such a juxtaposition might arouse associations with H. We like to shudder at them. That she may connect the power of war with the activity of Satan is implied by the following line in the fifth section: Criticising war and favouring pacifism, A. On the contrary, despite being written in the socially and politically unstable s, W. While in the elegies, W. All the same, it is essential to mention that W.
Auden, after losing his faith in the ideology that pushed him to fight, disowned his fine propaganda piece. Ostriker see the role of poetry and a poet in shaping political awareness of a society. Due to its unique and ambiguous grammatical construction, the phrase can be read in two ways, either as an 3 A number of her poems realise such a fusion, among them Daffodils and The window at the moment of flame.
Paradoxically, as poetry has the capacity both to survive, just like D. Auden may also equivocally imply that now W. As far as A. Ostriker is concerned, it comes as a surprise that in her Elegy before the War she seems to be losing to some extent her implicit faith in poetry, becoming skeptical about its real power.
Yearning for a relief from the unbearable reality and finding out that the poetry of the old masters has ceased to lift her spirits, she begins, under the pretence that they are not in a position to change anything, to discredit her gurus who inspired her in the past. So he was, what, fifteen at this time.
And he decided there and then not just to become a poet, but to become a great poet. And, extraordinarily for an undergraduate, he did write great poems while he was still in his very, very early twenties — or twenty, in fact. Yes, so shall we have a quick look at one of those? So, he publishes a volume called Poems inand before that T. So he could write the most astonishingly assured, authoritative, convincing, original verse when he was still twenty, twenty-one, and an undergraduate at Oxford.
The first few lines: Control of the passes was, he saw, the key To this new district, but who would get it?
He, the trained spy, had walked into the trap For a bogus guide, seduced by the old tricks. How would you characterise that sort of voice? Yes, we have no idea, do we, from the poem, of any narrative details about what the different sides are in this Cold War, or this hot war.
So, in the next four lines, you get: At Greenhearth was a fine site for a dam And easy power, had they pushed the rail Some stations nearer.
They ignored his wires: The bridges were unbuilt and trouble coming. But I think the modernity of the landscape is also kind of striking. So, part of his extraordinary kind of sensitivity to the epoch in which he was living historically was that he had spent some time in Germany after university.
Question Me Again: Reflections on W. B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney
Yes, I think Berlin was a kind of sexual liberation in many ways for Auden. I think he found there was … that because of the crisis in the deutschmark, he could live quite well on the money that he was being given by his parents. He was very interested in Anglo-Saxon poetry, and yes, though he got his third at Oxford, he made better use, certainly, of the Anglo-Saxon bit of the course than many of those who have studied it since.
They would shoot, of course, Parting easily two that were never joined. People are applying that, and they know what they mean. So there are early poems by C. Day-Lewis, for example, or early poems by Stephen Spender, that you can see are really struggling to escape the extraordinarily kind of charismatic influence of this voice.
And I wonder if what Empson has in mind is not rather brilliantly exemplified by the next major work that Auden publishes, inwhich is this extraordinary and almost unclassifiable work called The Orators: Can you give us some sense of what this book is like?
It was very influential at the time. Auden himself, when it was republished insaid he must have been mad when he wrote it, and the person, he decided, who wrote it was on the border of mania, and either a fascist or a totalitarian of some kind.
And the epigraph to the whole volume is a striking one, I think.
W. H. Auden
I mean, how accurate do you think that is? I think he could be a little bit contradictory about that. In some ways, he was quite a conservative in his political views, but in other ways he did write poems which kind of call for the death of the old gang, or imagine the six beggars attacking lords and taking over the high life.
Fortunately, all these original … the English Auden, all the original versions, can be read now, rather than his revised versions of them. I mean, after Berlin he taught first in Scotland, and then in Herefordshire — and he spent four years, I think it was, teaching in public schools.
So, having denounced them as kind of fascist institutions, he then made a living out of them. And he was, again, I think both fascinate by their kind of cults, the way in which they create a kind of discipline and a sense of … set of coteries, and also, in some ways, deeply distrustful of that, and he connected that public school atmosphere with Englishness in a more general way, and I think he was right to — I wonder how many politicians since Auden have been to a public school; but the diagnosis of the failures of the English public school system, not just metaphorically, go to the heart of the ways in which the English politics run.
But they also, I think — would this be fair to say? And Auden, after leaving Downs School innever actually settled anywhere for very long, that he was always on the move and travelled — it became almost a kind of compulsion to him, that he was always shifting quarters from one place to another.
Auden had the opposite sense of the poet, who was someone who was out there, and could write poetry almost on demand.
And the influence of this around … throughout America and Britain is enormous, and he really has changed the concept of what poetry can do and be, and how it gets written — and how it gets read, as well. So his influence, at this moment, is at its very height. So his — or at least on the face of it, a bit of a paradox: So it in some ways relates back to a more kind of eighteenth-century tradition of poetry, I think — and this, again, is part of his way of breaking with the symbolist notion of the poet.
You could not shock her more than she shocks me; Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass. He came back home — as I remember, he came back home because he was surprised to find himself so disturbed to see all the churches boarded up. He said that later. Might be the benefit of hindsight, do you think? But Orwell said, that line could only have been written by someone who was always somewhere else when the trigger was pulled. I agree, I agree. And I think the example of the ways charismatic leaders such as Hitler and Stalin had mesmerised their followers was … inspired a kind of extreme reaction against that kind of enchantment of language, because it encouraged people just to trust the leader, and follow their leader.
Yeats was the poet who worried that his play Kathleen Ni Hoolihan had sent out certain men the English shot — the idea that his art could somehow galvanise people to sacrifice their lives for Ireland.