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W. H. Auden

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W.H. Auden (right) with Christopher Isherwood in 1939.

Wystan Hugh Auden (February 21, 1907 – September 29, 1973) was an Anglo-American poet[1][2] who wrote several famous poems.

Sourced quotes

  • "No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible."[3]
Simple: An opera plot cannot be sensible because people do not sing when they feel sensible.
  • "All pity is self-pity."[4]
Simple: When people feel pity, they always feel pity for themselves.


  1. Auden, W. H.; ed. by Edward Mendelson (2002). Prose, Volume II: 1939-1948. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 478. ISBN 0-691-08935-3.  Auden used the phrase "Anglo-American Poets" in 1943, implicitly referring to himself and T. S. Eliot.
  2. The first definition of "Anglo-American" in the OED (2008 revision) is: "Of, belonging to, or involving both England (or Britain) and America." "Oxford English Dictionary (access by subscription)". Retrieved on 2009-05-25 See also the definition "English in origin or birth, American by settlement or citizenship" in (1983) Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, 45.  See also the definition "an American, especially a citizen of the United States, of English origin or descent" in (1961) Merriam Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, 103.  See also the definition "a native or descendant of a native of England who has settled in or become a citizen of America, esp. of the United States" from The Random House Dictionary, 2009, available online at "Dictionary.com". Retrieved on 2009-05-25
  3. "Notes on Music and Opera" (p.472)
  4. "Interlude: West's Disease" (p. 243)

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