With Auden there really is no other place to start other than Four Weddings and a Funeral, circa 1994. The scene was what made both John Hannah and W.H. Auden unforgettably and contemporarily famous. An avid reader, Auden kept a keen eye on both contemporary poetry, fiction, literary criticism and psychology. His career is also marked heavily with geography – between two continents. His move from England in the late 1930's to America had a profound effect on the Auden's voice, outlook on art and on life.
His works from 1936 – 39, encompassing, amongst others, 'Stop All the Clocks', are certainly some of his best works. However the writings that followed his move reveal a scarred and pithier man – that understood his own intellect, religious belief, and political mind. Realism and wit, always present, transform to a stronger and much more confident tone in his later works – a modern and American Auden that spoke with a contemporary and more inter-personal tone.
There is a lot more to write about this poet, but if I did that now I wouldn't have anything left to say later in the week. Consider this, perhaps, as an experiment in extended posting – I will add more to the Auden-esque musings tomorrow. Maybe.
To keep the fires' well stoked – an hour of Auden reading just a year before his death. (Free sub. required)