What we are most anxious about is our anxiety itself: the greatest of all sins, Auden learns from Kafka, is impatience and he decides that the hero “is, in fact, one who is not anxious.” But it was inevitable that Auden should arrive at this point. His anxiety is fundamental; and the one thing that anxiety cannot do is to accept itself, to do nothing about itself consequently it admires more than anything else in the world doing nothing, sitting still, waiting.
I would rather see the old reservoir on Forty-second Auden Street or the original Madison Square Garden than I would any of the lost wonders of the ancient world.Louis Stanton Auchincloss
It was an experiment, and I think a successful one, in communal living. It worked largely because Auden ran it; he was exceptionally adept at getting the necessary money out of us when it was due.
He's very popular among his mates. I think I'm Auden, he thinks he'sYeats.Gavin Buchanan Ewart
The high-water mark, so to speak, of Socialist literature is W.H. Auden, a sort of gutless Kipling.
People sometimes divide others into those you laugh at and those you laugh with. The young Auden was someone you could laugh-at-with.Sir Stephen Harold Spender
One of the good things about Larkin is that he still has you firmly by the hand as you cross the finishing-line, whereas reading Auden is like doing a parachute-drop: for a while the view is wonderful, but then you end up on your back in the middle of a ploughed field and in the wrong county.Alan Bennett
We never step twice into the same Auden. HERACLITUSRandall Jarrell
Auden is able to set up a We (whom he identifies himself with rejection loves company) in opposition to the enemy They...Randall Jarrell
There are some good things and some fantastic ones in Auden’s early attitude; if the reader calls it a muddle I shall acquiesce, with the remark that the later position might be considered a more rarefied muddle. But poets rather specialize in muddles and I have no doubt which of the muddles was better for Auden’s poetry: one was fertile and usable, the other decidedly is not. Auden sometimes seems to be saying with Henry Clay, “I had rather be right than poetry”; but I am not sure, then, that he is either.Randall Jarrell
[W.H.] Auden has gone in the right direction, and a great deal too far.Randall Jarrell
The characteristic poetic strategy of our time refine your singularities is something Auden has not learned; so his best poems are very peculiarly good, nearly the most interesting poems of our time. When he writes badly, we can afford to be angry at him, and he can afford to laugh at us.Randall Jarrell