Archives for posts with tag: auden

Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition. – W.H. Auden


Recent events reminded me of these lines:

“[…] Hubris comes to
an ugly finish, Irreverence
is a greater oaf than Superstition.

Our apparatniks will continue making
the usual squalid mess called History:
all we can pray for is that artists,
chefs and saints may still appear to blithe it.”

From Auden’s “Moonlanding”

More from the Paris Review’s 1974 interview with Auden,  insight into Auden’s methods of composition:
“At any given time, I have two things on my mind: a theme that interests me and a problem of verbal form, meter, diction, etc. The theme looks for the right form; the form looks for the right theme. When the two come together, I am able to start writing.”

auden ashbery
The Paris Review interviews John Ashbery:
“I met [W.H. Auden] briefly twice after he gave readings at Harvard, and later on in New York saw a bit of him through Chester Kallman who was a great friend of Jimmy Schuyler’s, but it was very hard to talk to him since he already knew everything. I once said to Kenneth Koch, “What are you supposed to say to Auden?” And he said that about the only thing there was to say was “I’m glad you’re alive.”