W. H. Auden Contemporary Criticism (Vol. 6)
Auden, W(ystan) H(ugh) 1907–1973
Auden, an Anglo-American poet, essayist, dramatist, editor, and critic, was considered "the greatest living poet" after Eliot. "At any one time," said Howard Moss, "there must be five or six supremely intelligent people on the earth. Auden was one of them." (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 9-12, rev. ed.; obituary, Vols. 45-48.)
Books about Auden all tend to be fairly good, just as books about, say Wallace Stevens, tend to be quite bad. This is probably not because admirers of Stevens love him less well than the lovers of Auden, but because more genuinely difficult poets do not reduce to structures of ideas and images so readily as Auden does.
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