The Age of Auden: Postwar Poetry and the American Scene

By Aidan Wasley | Go to book overview

PREFACE

When W. H. Auden died in 1973, Elizabeth Bishop offered this tribute in a special memorial issue of The Harvard Advocate:

When I was in college, and all through the thirties and for-
ties, I and all my friends who were interested in poetry, read
him constantly. We hurried to see his latest poem or book, and
either wrote as much like him as possible, or tried hard not to.
His then leftist politics, his ominous landscape, his intimations
of betrayed loves, war on its way, disasters and death, matched
exactly the mood of our late-depression and post-depression
youth. We admired his apparent toughness, his sexual cour-
age—actually more honest than Ginsberg’s, say, is now, while
still giving expression to technically dazzling poetry. Even the
most hermetic early poems gave us the feeling that here was
someone who knew—about psychology, geology, birds, love, the
evils of capitalism—what have you? They colored our air and
made us feel tough, ready, and in the know, too.1

-xiii-

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The Age of Auden: Postwar Poetry and the American Scene
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Prologue - Auden in [Atlantis] 1
  • Part I 31
  • 1- A Way of Happening - Auden's American Presence 33
  • Part II 75
  • 2- Father of Forms - Merrill, Auden, and a Fable of Influence 77
  • 3- The Gay Apprentice - Ashbery Auden, and a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Critic 109
  • 4- The Old Sources - Rich, Auden, and Making Something Happen 145
  • Epilogue - He Became His Admirers Saying Goodbye to Auden 175
  • Notes 209
  • Index 243
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