Jun 7, 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 7:58.
by W. H. Auden
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.