Quotes by W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden

American poet

Alive from: 1907-1973

Category: Poets (Contemporary)

Quotes 16 till 30 of 70.

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    Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.
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    Criticism should be a casual conversation.
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    Dogmatic theological statements are neither logical propositions nor poetic utterances. They are ''shaggy dog'' stories; they have a point, but he who tries too hard to get it will miss it.
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    Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.
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    Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.
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    Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.
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    Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.
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    God bless the USA, so large, so friendly, and so rich.
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    I cannot accept the doctrine that in poetry there is a ''suspension of belief.'' A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.
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    If the most significant characteristic of man is the complex of biological needs he shares with all members of his species, then the best lives for the writer to observe are those in which the role of natural necessity is clearest, namely, the lives of the very poor.
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    It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.
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    It is already possible to imagine a society in which the majority of the population, that is to say, its laborers, will have almost as much leisure as in earlier times was enjoyed by the aristocracy. When one recalls how aristocracies in the past actually behaved, the prospect is not cheerful.
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    It is... axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people because, when we are insensitive in our dealings with others, we cannot be aware of it at the time: conscious insensitivity is a self-contradiction.
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    It takes little talent to see clearly what lies under one's nose, a good deal of it to know in which direction to point that organ.
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    It's frightening how easy it is to commit murder in America. Just a drink too much. I can see myself doing it. In England, one feels all the social restraints holding one back. But here, anything can happen.
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