W. H. AUDEN Biography - Famous Poets and dancers


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W. H. Auden                                                                         
Born 21 February 1907                                                               
York, England                                                                       
Died 29 September 1973 (aged 66)                                                   
Vienna, Austria                                                                     
Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February 1907 - 29 September 1973),                           
who signed his works W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet,                       
regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work       
is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral   
and political issues, and its variety of tone, form, and content. The               
central themes of his poetry are: personal love, politics and citizenship,         
religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the       
anonymous, impersonal world of nature.                                             
Auden grew up in Birmingham in a professional middle-class family and read         
English Literature at Christ Church, Oxford. His early poems, in the late 1920s     
and 1930s, alternated between obscure modern styles and accessible traditional     
ones, were written in an intense and dramatic tone, and established his             
reputation as a left-wing political poet and prophet. He became uncomfortable in   
this role in the later 1930s, and abandoned it after he moved to the United         
States in 1939. His poems in the 1940s explored religious and ethical themes in     
a less dramatic manner than his earlier works, but still combined new forms         
devised by Auden himself with traditional forms and styles. In the 1950s and       
1960s many of his poems focused on the ways in which words revealed and             
concealed emotions, and he took a particular interest in writing opera librettos,   
a form ideally suited to direct expression of strong feelings.                     
He was also a prolific writer of prose essays and reviews on literary, political,   
psychological, and religious subjects, and he worked at various times on           
documentary films, poetic plays, and other forms of performance. Throughout his     
career he was both controversial and influential. After his death, some of his     
poems, notably "Funeral Blues" ("Stop all the clocks") and "September 1, 1939",     
became widely known through films, broadcasts, and popular media.