Biography of W. H. Auden

Wystan Hugh Auden (W. H. Auden) was an English-American poet known for his extensive and versatile body of work. He was born on February 21, 1907, in York, England, and died on September 29, 1973, in Vienna, Austria. Auden’s poetry is known for its intellectual depth, technical skill, and engagement with a wide range of themes, including politics, religion, love, and the human condition.
Early Life and Education - Literary Career - W. H. Auden Move to U S - Legacy - Later Life and Teaching of W. H. Auden
Biography of W. H. Auden

Early Life and Education:

Auden was born into a middle-class family. He showed an early interest in poetry and published his first collection, titled “Poems,” at the age of 20. He attended Oxford University, where he became associated with a group of writers including Christopher Isherwood, Louis MacNeice, and Stephen Spender. This group, known as the “Auden Generation,” would go on to influence British literature significantly.

W. H. Auden’s Literary Career:

In the 1930s, Auden’s work gained widespread attention for its innovative style and thought-provoking content. He explored complex themes and expressed his views on political and social issues of his time. His poetry collections from this period include “Look, Stranger!” (1936) and “Spain” (1937), which reflected his concern about the Spanish Civil War.

W. H. Auden Move to the United States:

In 1939, Auden moved to the United States, where he would spend a significant portion of his life. He became an American citizen in 1946. During his time in the U.S., he continued to write poetry, essays, and plays. His notable works from this period include “The Double Man” (1941) and “The Age of Anxiety” (1947), which won him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Later Life and Teaching of W. H. Auden:

In the 1950s and 1960s, Auden turned his attention to teaching and lecturing. He taught at various institutions, including the University of Michigan and Oxford University. Despite being less active in producing new poetry during this time, his reputation as a major literary figure continued to grow.

W. H. Auden Legacy:

W. H. Auden’s poetry is characterized by its intelligence, wit, and emotional depth. He was unafraid to confront the complexities of the human experience, and his work resonates with readers around the world. Some of his other notable works include “The Shield of Achilles” (1955) and “About the House” (1965).
Auden’s influence on poetry and literature is immense. His impact can be seen in the work of subsequent generations of poets. He remains one of the most celebrated and studied poets of the 20th century, and his contributions to the world of letters continue to be appreciated and admired.