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Biography Of Wystan Hugh Auden Essay

828 words - 4 pages

English poet, playwright, critic, and librettist Wystan Hugh Auden had a major influence on the poetry of the twentieth century. Auden was born on February 21, 1907 in York, England. Auden was born and raised in a greatly industrial section of northern England. His father, a prominent physician with an extensive knowledge of mythology, and his mother, a strict Anglican, both had strong influences on Auden’s poetry. During his child he moved to Birmingham. Auden’s early interest in science and engineering earned him a scholarship to Oxford University, where his attraction with poetry led him to change his field of study to English. His appeal to science never completely faded and scientific ...view middle of the document...

Auden's political sympathies inspired him to go to Spain in 1937 to observe the Spanish Civil War. Auden's poems in the latter half of the 1930s reflected his journeys to politically torn countries. He wrote his acclaimed collection, Spain, based on his first-hand accounts of the country's civil war from 1936 to 1939. It was Auden who characterized the thirties as “the age of anxiety.” He published 'The Age of Anxiety' in 1947 for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Auden struck a chord in readers with his timely treatment of the moral and political issues that directly affected them.
Auden, ever the enthusiastic traveler, visited Germany, Iceland and China. In 1939, Auden and Isherwood immigrated to the United States. This was a controversial move, regarded by some as a flight from danger on the eve of war in Europe. His first book written in America, Another Time, contains some of his best-known poems, among them “September 1, 1939” and “Musee des Beaux Arts,” which was inspired by a Breughel painting. From 1956 to 1961 he was professor of poetry at Oxford University. In America, he met his lifelong partner, fellow poet Chester Kallman. Auden taught at a number of American universities and, in 1946, took US citizenship.
Ever since, he has been admired for his unmatched technical talent and an ability to write poems in nearly every imaginable poetry form; the incorporation in his work of popular culture, current events, and dialect speech;...

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