Here’s some more info that I was not able to share in class today. I thought you might like to read it.
In class today I mentioned that Old English Verse was an influence for Auden. In case you didn’t know Old English Verse is literature written in old English that includes works such as: epic poetry, sermons, bible translations, legal works, chronicles, riddles, etc.
Auden formed lifelong friendships with writers Stephen Spender and Christopher Isherwood. His earliest poems were written in 1920s-30s. In the 1940s his poems explored religious and ethical things in a less dramatic manner. Auden had remarkable wit and often mimicked the writing styles of other poets like; Dickinson, Yeats, and Henry James. His poetry frequently recounts literally or metaphorically a journey quest and his travels provided rich material for his verse. Auden loved to travel. He traveled to Germany, Iceland, and China (Iceland was his favorite). Auden also served in the Spanish Civil War. Auden became an American citizen in 1939 where he met his lover Chester Kallman and his beliefs changed from an ardent advocate of socialism and Freduian psychoanalysis to believing in Christianity and the theology of modern protestant theologians. He was a proflic writer and noted a playwright, editor and essayist and was generally considered the greatest English poet of the 20th century. Auden was a chancellor of the The Academy of American Poets from 1954-1973 and divided most of his second half of his life between residences in NYC and Austria. After his death in 1973 his poems “Funeral Blues” (“Stop All the Clocks”) and “September 1,1939” became widely known through films, broadcasts and popular media.
Please re-read “Their Lonely Betters” it’s a beautiful poem. I really enjoyed “Musée des Beaux Arts” also a beautiful poem. I found “Musée des Beaux Arts” be to “storytelling” it sounds as though someone is telling a story. I get from lines 1-5 that the artist is the only one that understands human position while others don’t even try to understand. In lines 5-10 the speaker tells us how artist, old people and children are different. And lastly I read in lines 14-20 it is a description of the painting “Brueghel’s Icarus”.
Let me know what you think? I know it’s not an assignment I just wanted to say much more in my presentation that time did not allow.
P.S. great class I really enjoyed it today and the whole semester. Keep in touch. and POST, POST, POST please.