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The Well Read Poem

May 10, 2021

Welcome to Season 3 of The Well Read Poem podcast. In this third season we will explore six lyric poems by the great English modernist W. H. Auden. The study of Auden’s poetry is in many respects a study of the 20th Century itself, and of its religious, philosophical, and political concerns. 

Auden was one of the great chroniclers of the so-called “Age of Anxiety,” a term he coined, and a brilliant and sympathetic analyst of modern man’s fears and hopes, beliefs and unbeliefs. Poem begins at timestamp 4:00.

August 1968

by W. H. Auden

The Ogre does what ogres can, 

Deeds quite impossible for Man, 

But one prize is beyond his reach, 

The Ogre cannot master Speech: 

About a subjugated plain, 

Among its desperate and slain, 

The Ogre stalks with hands on hips, 

While drivel gushes from his lips.