Quotes by W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden

American poet

Alive from: 1907-1973

Category: Poets (Contemporary)

Quotes 46 till 60 of 70.

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    Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.
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    Poetry makes nothing happen. It survives in the valley of its saying.
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    Precisely because we do not communicate by singing, a song can be out of place but not out of character; it is just as credible that a stupid person should sing beautifully as that a clever person should do so.
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    Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.
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    Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master's commands when, in fact, he is obliged to. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers, enslaved by an all too ''personal'' style.
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    Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
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    Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.
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    The actors today really need the whip hand. They're so lazy. They haven't got the sense of pride in their profession that the less socially elevated musical comedy and music hall people or acrobats have. The theater has never been any good since the actors became gentlemen.
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    The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.
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    The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.
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    The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own.
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    The critical opinions of a writer should always be taken with a large grain of salt. For the most part, they are manifestations of his debate with himself as to what he should do next and what he should avoid.
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    The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.
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    The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears.
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    The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.
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