Wednesday, February 21, 2007

W.H. Auden's centenary

Michelle Pauli, deputy editor of Guardian Unlimited Books, writes:

It may not have failed to escape your notice that today is the centenary of WH Auden's birth. But when you've got up to speed with the poet by reading our author page, tested your knowledge with a quiz, joined in praise of Auden and admired James Fenton's 40-year-long fidelity to the poet, why not go back to first principles and enjoy a piece of the poet's ... poetry?

To make it even easier - and mellifluous - we've got a recording of Ralph Fiennes declaiming one of Auden's most memorable verses: As I Walked Out One Morning.

The quote-of-honor at Auden's Guardian author page:

"'Why do you want to write poetry?' If the young man answers, 'I have important things I want to say,' then he is not a poet. If he answers, 'I like hanging around words listening to what they say,' then maybe he is going to be a poet."

--Marshal Zeringue