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W.H. Auden Quotes

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W.H. Auden Quote: “Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.”

Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.

— W.H. Auden



W.H. Auden Quote: “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”

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 Quote: “There’s always another story. There’s more than meets the eye.”

There’s always another story. There’s more than meets the eye.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Time will say nothing but I told you so...”

Time will say nothing but I told you so...

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “We were put on this Earth to help others. Why others were put here is beyond me.”

We were put on this Earth to help others. Why others were put here is beyond me.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Love each other or perish.”

Love each other or perish.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say.”

Whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me.”

How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “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.”

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 Quote: “We must love one another or die.”

We must love one another or die.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return.”

I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving be me.”

If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving be me.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.”

History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.”

Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “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.”

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


W.H. Auden Quote: “All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.”

All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Dance till the stars come down from the rafters Dance, Dance, Dance ’till you drop.”

Dance till the stars come down from the rafters Dance, Dance, Dance ’till you drop.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.”

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Fate succumbs many a species: one alone jeopardises itself.”

Fate succumbs many a species: one alone jeopardises itself.

— W.H. Auden



W.H. Auden Quote: “Now is the age of anxiety.”

Now is the age of anxiety.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Let us honor if we can the vertical man, though we value none but the horizontal one.”

Let us honor if we can the vertical man, though we value none but the horizontal one.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “We are lived by powers we pretend to understand.”

We are lived by powers we pretend to understand.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire; Still waters run deep, my dear, there’s never smoke without fire.”

Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire; Still waters run deep, my dear, there’s never smoke without fire.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “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.”

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 Quote: “Water is the soul of the Earth.”

Water is the soul of the Earth.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “You shall love your crooked neighbour, with your crooked heart.”

You shall love your crooked neighbour, with your crooked heart.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “To be free is often to be lonely.”

To be free is often to be lonely.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Time will say nothing but I told you so, Time only knows the price we have to pay; If I could tell you I would let you know.”

Time will say nothing but I told you so, Time only knows the price we have to pay; If I could tell you I would let you know.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.”

Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “You owe it to all of us all get on with what you’re good at.”

You owe it to all of us all get on with what you’re good at.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Let all your thinks be thanks.”

Let all your thinks be thanks.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “A poet, qua poet, has only one political duty, namely, in his own writing to set an example of the correct use of his mother tongue, which is always being corrupted. When words lose their meaning, physical force takes over.”

A poet, qua poet, has only one political duty, namely, in his own writing to set an example of the correct use of his mother tongue, which is always being corrupted. When words lose their meaning, physical force takes over.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.”

No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “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.”

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


W.H. Auden Quote: “Let me see what I wrote so I know what I think.”

Let me see what I wrote so I know what I think.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.”

A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Private faces in public places Are wiser and nicer Than public faces in private places.”

Private faces in public places Are wiser and nicer Than public faces in private places.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Now the leaves are falling fast, Nurse’s flowers will not last, Nurses to their graves are gone, But the prams go rolling on.”

Now the leaves are falling fast, Nurse’s flowers will not last, Nurses to their graves are gone, But the prams go rolling on.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Man is a history-making creature, who can neither repeat his past, nor leave it behind.”

Man is a history-making creature, who can neither repeat his past, nor leave it behind.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “God may reduce you on Judgment Day to tears of shame, reciting by heart the poems you would have written, had your life been good.”

God may reduce you on Judgment Day to tears of shame, reciting by heart the poems you would have written, had your life been good.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Blessed be all metrical rules that forbid automatic responses, force us to have second thoughts, free us from the fetters of Self.”

Blessed be all metrical rules that forbid automatic responses, force us to have second thoughts, free us from the fetters of Self.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic.”

Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “The slogan of Hell: Eat or be eaten. The slogan of Heaven: Eat and be eaten.”

The slogan of Hell: Eat or be eaten. The slogan of Heaven: Eat and be eaten.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Say this city has ten million souls, Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes: Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.”

Say this city has ten million souls, Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes: Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountain start.”

In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountain start.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “I know nothing, except what everyone knows – if there when Grace dances, I should dance.”

I know nothing, except what everyone knows – if there when Grace dances, I should dance.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “In headaches and in worry Vaguely life leaks away, And Time will have his fancy To-morrow or today.”

In headaches and in worry Vaguely life leaks away, And Time will have his fancy To-morrow or today.

— W.H. Auden


W.H. Auden Quote: “Encased in talent like a uniform, The rank of every poet is well known; They can amaze us like a thunderstorm, Or die so young, or live for years alone.”

Encased in talent like a uniform, The rank of every poet is well known; They can amaze us like a thunderstorm, Or die so young, or live for years alone.

— W.H. Auden

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