W.H. Auden: Prose Background

W.H. Auden: Prose Background

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-73) one of the most important poets of the twentieth century. He was born in York, Auden spent much time of his childhood in Birmingham but was educated at Gresham's school Norfolk, a public school with liberal ideas about education and at Oxford University.

Auden began writing poetry at fifteen. His first poem was published in 1924 at the age of seventeen. Though he chose to become a poet, Auden's early interest in science is distinctly visible when he used complicated mechanics of prosody and logic in his writings.

Auden won the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Anxiety in 1948. Auden wrote plays, Paid on Both Sides, The Dog Beneath the Skin, On the Frontier, and The Ascent of F6 in the middle thirties with Christopher Isherwood. The Dog Beneath the Skin is the most poetic and lively play. The play is not about economics or diplomacy but the power and importance of human affection.

Auden also wrote literary criticism, The Enchafed Flood, The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays, Libretti and Other Dramatic Writings, and edited a number of anthologies. In the book, The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays, Auden published his formal lectures, essays, and reviews.

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