W H Auden Quotes & Wallpapers

W H Auden
Total Quotes: 587


If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving be me. W H Auden
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The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me. W H Auden
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Health is the state about which medicine has nothing to say. W H Auden
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I don't get acting jobs because of my looks. W H Auden
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You know there are no secrets in America. It's quite different in England, where people think of a secret as a shared relation between two people. W H Auden
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The condition of mankind is, and always has been, so miserable and depraved that, if anyone were to say to the poet: "For God's sake stop singing and do something useful like putting on the kettle or fetching bandages," what just reason could he give for refusing? W H Auden
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About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters. W H Auden
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Desire, even in its wildest tantrums, can neither persuade me it is love nor stop me from wishing it were. W H Auden
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To pray is to pay attention to something or someone other than oneself... W H Auden
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There's only one good test of pornography. Get twelve normal men to read the book, and then ask them, 'Did you get an erection?' If the answer is 'Yes' from a majority of the twelve, then the book is pornographic. W H Auden
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In a game, just losing is almost as satisfying as just winning... In life the loser's score is always zero. W H Auden
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Dance till the stars come down from the rafters Dance, Dance, Dance 'till you drop. W H Auden
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Private faces in public places Are wiser and nicer Than public faces in private places. W H Auden
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One rational voice is dumb: over a grave The household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved. Sad is Eros, builder of cities, And weeping anarchic Aphrodite. W H Auden
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We are lived by powers we pretend to understand. W H Auden
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It is, for example, axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people because, when we are insensitive in our dealings with others, we cannot be aware of it at the time: conscious insensitivity is a self-contradiction. W H Auden
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Some thirty inches from my nose The frontier of my Person goes, And all the untilled air between Is private pagus or demesne. Stranger, unless with bedroom eyes I beckon you to fraternize, Beware of rudely crossing it: I have no gun, but I can spit. W H Auden
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Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible, it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith. W H Auden
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Does God judge us by appearances? I Suspect that He does. W H Auden
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Their fate must always be the same as yours, To suffer the loss they were afraid of, yes, Holders of one position, wrong for years. W H Auden
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The closest modern equivalent to the Homeric hero is the ace fighter pilot. W H Auden
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Man is a history-making creature, who can neither repeat his past, nor leave it behind. W H Auden
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Warm are the still and lucky miles, White shores of longing stretch away, A light of recognition fills The whole great day, and bright The tiny world of lovers' arms. Silence invades the breathing wood Where drowsy limbs a treasure keep, Now greenly falls the learned shade Across the sleeping brows And stirs their secret to a smile. Restored! Returned! The lost are borne On seas of shipwreck home at last: See! In a fire of praising burns The dry dumb past, and we Our life-day long shall part no more. W H Auden
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We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die. W H Auden
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We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know. W H Auden
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What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. W H Auden
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No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. W H Auden
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Music is the best means we have of digesting time. W H Auden
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One cannot review a bad book without showing off. W H Auden
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The glacier knocks in the cupboard, The desert sighs in the bed, And the crack in the teacup opens A lane to the land of the dead. W H Auden
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I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen. W H Auden
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Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts. W H Auden
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There is a great deal of difference in believing something still, and believing it again. W H Auden
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He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. W H Auden
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A poet feels the impulse to create a work of art when the passive awe provoked by an event is transformed into a desire to express that awe in a rite of worship. W H Auden
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Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return. W H Auden
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Art is born of humiliation. W H Auden
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One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell. W H Auden
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In a world of prayer, we are all equal in the sense that each of us is a unique person, with a unique perspective on the world, a member of a class of one. W H Auden
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Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell. W H Auden
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Before people complain of the obscurity of modern poetry, they should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another. W H Auden
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Laziness acknowledges the relation of the present to the past but ignores its relation to the future; impatience acknowledge its relation to the future but ignores its relation to the past; neither the lazy nor the impatient man, that is, accepts the present instant in its full reality and so cannot love his neighbour completely. W H Auden
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Clear, unscaleable ahead, Rise the mountains of instead From whose cold, cascading streams None may drink except in dreams W H Auden
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I'll love you till the ocean Is folded and hung up to dry And the seven stars go squawking Like geese about the sky. W H Auden
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God is Love, we are taught as children to believe. But when we first begin to get some inkling of how He loves us, we are repelled; it seems so cold, indeed, not love at all as we understand the word. W H Auden
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A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true. W H Auden
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In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it: they must not do too much of it: and they must have a sense of success in it - not a doubtful sense, such as needs some testimony of others for its confirmation, but a sure sense, or rather knowledge, that so much work has been done well, and fruitfully done, whatever the world may say or think about it. W H Auden
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We do not change as we grow up. The difference between the child and the adult is that the former doesn't know who he is and the latter does. W H Auden
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In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountain start. W H Auden
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Who on earth invented the silly convention that it is boring or impolite to talk shop? Nothing is more interesting to listen to, especially if the shop is not one's own. W H Auden
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See without looking, hear without listening, breathe without asking. W H Auden
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You must go to bed with friends or whores, where money makes up the difference in beauty or desire. W H Auden
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Dogmatic theological statements are neither logical propositions nor poetic utterances. They are 'shaggy dog' stories; they have a point, but he who tries too hard to get it will miss it. W H Auden
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Pleasure is by no means an infallible critical guide, but it is the least fallible. W H Auden
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Poetry is the only art people haven't learned to consume like soup. W H Auden
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The eye likes novelty, but the ear craves familiarity. W H Auden
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The most important truths are likely to be those which society at that time least wants to hear. W H Auden
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All poets adore explosions, thunderstorms, tornadoes, conflagrations, ruins, scenes of spectacular carnage. The poetic imagination is therefore not at all a desirable quality in a chief of state. W H Auden
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Left to itself the masculine imagination has very little appreciation for the here and now; it prefers to dwell on what is absent, on what has been or may be. If men are more punctual than women, it is because they know that, without the external discipline of clock time, they would never get anything done. W H Auden
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In a land which is fully settled, most men must accept their local environment or try to change it by political means; only the exceptionally gifted or adventurous can leave to seek his fortune elsewhere. In America, on the other hand, to move on and make a fresh start somewhere else is still the normal reaction to dissatisfaction and failure. W H Auden
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Drama is based on the Mistake. I think someone is my friend when he really is my enemy, that I am free to marry a woman when in fact she is my mother, that this person is a chambermaid when it is a young nobleman in disguise, that this well-dressed young man is rich when he is really a penniless adventurer, or that if I do this such and such a result will follow when in fact it results in something very different. All good drama has two movements, first the making of the mistake, then the discovery that it was a mistake. W H Auden
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Nobody knows what the cause is, though some pretend they do; it like some hidden assassin waiting to strike at you. Childless women get it, and men when they retire; it as if there had to be some outlet for their foiled creative fire. W H Auden
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A person incapable of imaging another world than given to him by his senses would be subhuman, and a person who identifies his imaginary world with the world of sensory fact has become insane. W H Auden
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To hunt for symbols in a fairy tale is absolutely fatal. W H Auden
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That the speech of self-disclosure should be translatable seems to me very odd, but I am convinced that it is. The conclusion that I draw is that the only quality which all human being without exception possess is uniqueness: any characteristic, on the other hand, which one individual can be recognized as having in common with another, like red hair or the English language, implies the existence of other individual qualities which this classification excludes. W H Auden
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Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation. W H Auden
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The element of craftsmanship in poetry is obscured by the fact that all men are taught to speak and most to read and write, while very few men are taught to draw or paint or write music. W H Auden
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Had Greek civilization never existed ... we would never have become fully conscious. W H Auden
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To be free is often to be lonely. W H Auden
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Courses in prosody, rhetoric and comparative philology would be required of all students, and every student would have to select three courses out of courses in mathematics, natural history, geology, meteorology, archaeology, mythology, liturgics, cooking. W H Auden
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