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Top 350 W.H. Auden Quotes (2023 Update)
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W.H. Auden Quote: “What is a Professor of Poetry? How can poetry be professed?”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Herds of reindeer move across Miles and miles of golden moss.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “What we have not named as a symbol escapes our notice.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Money is the necessity that frees us from necessity.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “The element of craftsmanship in poetry is obscured by the fact that all men are taught to speak and most to read and write, while very few men are taught to draw or paint or write music.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “A man is a form of life that dreams in order to act and acts in order to dream.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “There has been a vast output of critical studies in contemporary poetry, some of them first rate, but I do not think that, as a rule, a poet should read them.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade’s End is one of them.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Ideally, government is the means by which all the individual wills are assured complete freedom of moral choice and at the same time prevented from ever clashing.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “In any first-class work of art, you can find passages that in themselves are extremely boring, but try to cut them out, as they are in an abridged edition, and you lose the life of the work. Don’t think that art that is alive can remain on the same level of interest throughout – and the same is true of life.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “It’s frightening how easy it is to commit murder in America. Just a drink too much. I can see myself doing it. In England, one feels all the social restraints holding one back. But here, anything can happen.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “The critical opinions of a writer should always be taken with a large grain of salt. For the most part, they are manifestations of his debate with himself as to what he should do next and what he should avoid.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “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 Quote: “Weep for the lives your wishes never led.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Long ago the accusations had begun, And suddenly knew by whom it had been judged.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “The relation of faith between subject and object is unique in every case. Hundreds may believe, but each has to believe by himself.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Politics cannot be a science, because in politics theory and practice cannot be separated, and the sciences depend upon their separation.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “The identification of fantasy is always an attempt to avoid one’s own suffering: the identification of art is the sharing in the suffering of another.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “A person incapable of imaging another world than given to him by his senses would be subhuman, and a person who identifies his imaginary world with the world of sensory fact has become insane.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “You will be a poet because you will always be humiliated.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Base words are uttered only by the base And can for such at once be understood; But noble platitudes – ah, there’s a case Where the most careful scrutiny is needed To tell a voice that’s genuinely good From one that’s base but merely has succeeded.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Yet no one hears his own remarks as prose.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Our sufferings and weaknesses, in so far as they are personal, are of no literary interest whatsoever. They are only interesting in so far as we can see them as typical of the human condition.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “To my generation no other English poet seemed so perfectly to express the sensibility of a male adolescent. If I do not now turn to him very often, I am eternally grateful to him for the joy he gave me in my youth.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “When one looks into the window of a store which sells devotional art objects, one can’t help wishing the iconoclasts had won.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “I’m always amazed at the American practice of allowing one party to a homosexual act to remain passive – it’s so undemocratic. Sexmust be mutual.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “A false enchantment can all too easily last a lifetime.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “People always get what they want. But there is a price for everything. Failures are either those who do not know what they want or are not prepared to pay the price asked them. The price varies from individual to individual. Some get things at bargain-sale prices, others only at famine prices. But it is no use grumbling. Whatever price you are asked, you must pay.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Composing mortals with immortal fire.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “I am sure it is everyone’s experience, as it has been mine, that any discovery we make about ourselves or the meaning of life is never, like a scientific discovery, a coming upon something entirely new and unsuspected; it is rather, the coming to conscious recognition of something, which we really knew all the time but, because we were unwilling to formulate it correctly, we did not hitherto know we knew.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “In relation to a writer, most readers believe in the Double Standard: they may be unfaithful to him as often as they like, but he must never, never be unfaithful to them.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “I write because I love to play with language.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “One of the troubles of our times is that we are all, I think, precocious as personalities and backward as characters.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “I don’t get acting jobs because of my looks.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Murder is commoner among cooks than among members of any other profession.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “There is a difference between a villain and one who simply commits a crime. The villain is an extremely conscious person and commits a crim consciously, for its own sake.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “The older lives like not to be stood in rows or at right angles.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Precisely because we do not communicate by singing, a song can be out of place but not out of character; it is just as credible that a stupid person should sing beautifully as that a clever person should do so.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “The only reason the Protestants and Catholics have given up the idea of universal domination is because they’ve realised they can’t get away with it.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “What answer to the meaning of existence should one require beyond the right to exercise one’s gifts?”
W.H. Auden Quote: “To hunt for symbols in a fairy tale is absolutely fatal.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “It’s usually the stupid people that develop long illnesses. You need more than indolence and selfishness, you need endurance to make a good patient.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Oh, how I wish that Orwell were still alive, so that I could read his comments on contemporary events!”
W.H. Auden Quote: “We honor founders of these starving cities, Whose honor is the image of our sorrow.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “That the speech of self-disclosure should be translatable seems to me very odd, but I am convinced that it is. The conclusion that I draw is that the only quality which all human being without exception possess is uniqueness: any characteristic, on the other hand, which one individual can be recognized as having in common with another, like red hair or the English language, implies the existence of other individual qualities which this classification excludes.”
W.H. Auden Quote: “Any society is in danger of dismissing the virtue of another society because of its vices, and a democracy is always in danger of not paying enough attention to manners and forms.”
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