Selected Poems

A meteor from the universe of Wystan Hugh Auden flashed into the atmosphere of American culture in 1994 when “Funeral Blues,” a poem written in 1936, was recited in a eulogy scene in the movie Three Weddings and a Funeral. Soon pamphlets of the poem appeared for sale at bookstore checkout counters: “He was my North, my South, my East and West, / My working week and my Sunday rest, / My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song / I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.” This example of Auden’s “light verse” (which he once defined as “poetry written by poets democratically in tune with their audience in straightforward language”) marches along in rhyme from a creative vantage point some distance from the depth of grief.


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