W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden

Wystan Hugh Auden published approximately 400 poems and 400 essays and reviews, that were all extremely wide-ranging in topic and form. Additionally, he wrote plays and worked on documentary films. Read more about W.H. Auden.

10 of the Best W.H. Auden Poems 

On this list, readers will find ten of the best W.H. Auden poems. They touch on a wide variety of themes and use different poetic techniques.

Adolescence

‘Adolescence’ by W.H. Auden is an interesting and complex poem. In it, the speaker analyzes and describes the life and experiences of a young man.

Adolescence by W.H. Auden Visual Representation

As I Walked Out One Evening

‘As I Walked Out One Evening’ by W. H. Auden is a poem about the unconquerable nature of death and the imperfect nature of love. This piece was first published in 1940 in the poet’s collection Another Time.

As I Walked Out One Evening by W.H. Auden Visual Representation

Epitaph on a Tyrant

‘Epitaph on a Tyrant’ by W.H. Auden is a thoughtful poem written at the beginning of WWII. The piece describes a tyrant’s beliefs and his power over everything around him. 

Epitaph on a Tyrant by W.H. Auden Visual Representation

Funeral Blues

‘Funeral Blues,’ also known as ‘Stop all the Clocks,’ is arguably Auden’s most famous poem. It was first published in ‘The Year’s Poetry’ in 1938.

Leap Before You Look

W. H. Auden’s instructive poem ‘Leap Before You Look’ (1940) counsels readers to take risks rather than being cautious in each step. This poem is written in a wise and caring tone.

Leap Before You Look by W. H. Auden Visual Representation

Lullaby

‘Lullaby’ by W.H. Auden describes the love that one speaker has for his imperfect “beloved” and how that love will be enough to content them both.

Miss Gee

W. H. Auden’s Miss Gee tells the story of the title character: an unfulfilled, unmarried woman stuck in the cliché of 1930s repression.

Musee des Beaux Arts

‘Musee des Beaux Arts’ by W.H. Auden describes, through the use of one specific artwork, the impact of suffering on humankind. 

O What Is That Sound

‘O What Is That Sound’ by W.H Auden is a tragic poem reminiscing the trauma that many individuals endure during times of war.

O Where Are You Going

‘O Where Are You Going’ by W. H. Auden is a poem in the form of a ballad which predicts the fate humanity suffers due to indecisiveness and not taking action.

Precious Five

‘Precious Five’ by W.H. Auden is about the role of the five senses of humans. The poet highlights how these senses are special to him in this poem.

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