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Auden's celebrated anthology of light verse is packed with surprising finds while also offering a striking rethinking of the poetic canon. Commissioned by Oxford University Press in the 1930s, when Auden's own work was at its boldest, the book caught its original publisher off guard. For it is less a collection of humorous verses than a celebration of the popular voice in English, in which the work of great satirists like Swift and Byron keeps company with ballads, chanteys, ditties, nursery rhymes, street calls, bathroom graffiti, epitaphs, folk songs, vaudeville turns, limericks, and blues. Turning away from the post-Romantic cult of the sentimental lyric, Auden features poetry that is clear, enjoyable, and, no matter its age, absolutely modern. This new edition includes previously censored poems, together with Auden's remarkable introduction and a new preface by his literary executor, Edward Mendelson.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781590170892
ISBN-10: 159017089X
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 128mm x 128mm)
Pages: 600
Imprint: NYRB Classics
Publisher: The New York Review of Books, Inc
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2007
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - W. H. Auden

W. H. Auden (1907-1973) was born in North Yorkshire, England, the son of a doctor. He studied at Oxford and published his first book, Poems, in 1930, immediately establishing himself as one of the outstanding voices of his generation. Auden emigrated to New York in 1939, where he became a US citizen and converted to Anglicanism. He wrote essays, critical studies, plays, and opera librettos for such composers as Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky, and Hans Werner Henze, as well as the poems for which he is most famous. EDWARD MENDELSON is the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and the literary executor of the estate of W.H. Auden. He is the author of Early Auden, Later Auden, and The Things That Matter, a volume of essays on Mary Shelley, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf. His Moral Agents: Eight Twentieth-Century American Writers will be published in early 2015.

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