W. H. Auden quotes
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W. H. Auden Quotes



Quotes by W. H. Auden - (52 quotes)

W. H. Auden - From the Activity category:

A man is a form of life that dreams in order to act and acts in order to dream. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Anxiety category:

Now is the age of anxiety. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Art category:

Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Art category:

Art is born of humiliation. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Artists category:

All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Audience category:

If there are any of you at the back who do not hear me, please don't raise your hands because I am also nearsighted. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Beauty category:

Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him, he would be set free in a few years by its fading. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Books category:

Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Books category:

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Change category:

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)

W. H. Auden - From the Children category:

Political history is far too criminal and pathological to be a fit subject of study for the young. Children should acquire their heroes and villains from fiction. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Communication category:

Without communication with the dead, a fully human life is not possible. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Contemplation category:

A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Creativity category:

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)

W. H. Auden - From the Criticism category:

It's better to say, 'I'm suffering,' than to say, 'This landscape is ugly.' (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Criticism category:

Criticism should be a casual conversation. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Dreams category:

Learn from your dreams what you lack. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Earth category:

Earth, receive an honoured guest: / William Yeats is laid to rest. / Let the Irish vessel lie / Emptied of its poetry. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Education category:

A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Ego category:

All that we are not stares back at what we are. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Ego category:

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)

W. H. Auden - From the Fame category:

Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Fashion category:

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)

W. H. Auden - From the Friendship category:

Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Generosity category:

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Genius category:

Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Health category:

'Healing,' Papa would tell me, 'is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.' (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Humour category:

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Joy category:

In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Listening category:

Yet no one hears his own remarks as prose. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Loneliness category:

Alone, alone, about the dreadful wood / Of conscious evil runs a lost mankind, / Dreading to find its Father. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Love category:

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Meaning category:

What answer to the meaning of existence should one require beyond the right to exercise one's gifts? (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Money category:

It is a sad fact about our culture, that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practising it. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Music category:

Music is the best means we have of digesting time. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Music category:

A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate; it goes on to become. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Music category:

Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Poetry category:

-Collected Poems
A poet's hope: to be, / like some valley cheese, / local, but prized elsewhere. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Poetry category:

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Prayer category:

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)

W. H. Auden - From the Procrastination category:

You owe it to all of us all get on with what you're good at. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Questions category:

For who can bear to feel himself forgotten? (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Quotations category:

The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Repetition category:

The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Responsibility category:

Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Routine category:

Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Searching category:

The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Seeing category:

It takes little talent to see clearly what lies under one's nose, a good deal of it to know in which direction to point that organ. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Subject category:

To me Art's subject is the human clay, / And landscape but a background to a torso; / All Cezanne's apples I would give away / For one small Goya or a Daumier. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Time category:

Time will say nothing but I told you so... (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Travel category:

Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist. (W. H. Auden)

W. H. Auden - From the Writing category:

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about. (W. H. Auden)