W. H. Auden Quotes
When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a room full of dukes.
What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.
The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.
Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist.
Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.
May it not be that, just as we have to have faith in Him, God has to have faith in us and, considering the history of the human race so far, may it not be that "faith" is even more difficult for Him than it is for us?
Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.
It's a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.
It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.
I'll love you, dear, I'll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street.
History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.
Every American poet feels that the whole responsibility for contemporary poetry has fallen upon his shoulders, that he is a literary aristocracy of one.
Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.
Before people complain of the obscurity of modern poetry, they should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another.
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
Almost all of our relationships begin and most of them continue as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.
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.
A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.