Whystan Hugh Auden
W.H.Auden was born in 1907 in York. He studied in Oxford and while there he became the leader of the “Oxford poets” whose aim was of continuing the artistic revolution started by Eliot and Joyce.
Auden was also becoming increasingly concerned about his homosexuality. Homosexuality was condemned in his religious upbringing and was regarded as a criminal offence in England, this is why in 1939 he moved to New York and a year later he started teaching and published Another Decade; later he became an American citizen.
During his English period he was influenced by Freud and psychoanalysis. In his opinion poetry had to tell stories concerning particular people or experiences and everyone had to give its own interpretation. The other great influence of this period was Karl Marx one according to it the poet had to be a public voice and support freedom.
In his American period Auden started leading his political interest refusing identification with a single poetic culture or nation and believing that improvement must begin inside the man, not inside the society.
His most relevant work is Another Time (1940), it is a collection of poems appeared during the eve of WWII when the poet moved to USA, so it became the symbol of his personal experience. The poems combine a mix of styles, free verse, ballads, songs and are organized into three sections:
- “People and places”: whose topic is sorrow and the relationship between man and nature;
- “Lighter poems”: characterized by a comic tone;
- “Occasional poems”: celebrates the death of famous people and wants to interpret important historical events.