W.H. Auden - Select Poems - A Critical Assessment with Annotations

W.H. Auden ranks next only to T.S. Eliot among modern English poets. During his long span of active poetic production, stretching over a period of more than thirty-five years, Auden has produced a large body of poetry, and his poems taken together constitute a 'poetic universe' unique in many ways. He has exercised a revolutionary influence on his younger contemporaries, and the techniques of communication he has used have been called 'Audenesque' for want of a better name.

Auden is "the most inward and subjective of poets", and he presents over-whelming difficulties, particularly to students in Indian universities. The present writer has done his best to introduce to the readers this highly individual and unique poet in an easy, popular form. Important aspects of his poetry have been dealt with exhaustively, and such of his poems as are usually prescribed have also been studied in detail. Emphasis throughout has been on clarification and elucidation, and scholarly hair-splitting has been avoided as far as possible. The treatment is comprehensive and elaborate, but, at the same time, simple, lucid, and easy to understand. It is hoped that the book would be of some use to those for whom it is meant.