W. H. Auden Quotes

Health is the state about which medicine has nothing to say

W. H. Auden

Definition of a College professor: someone who talks in other people's sleep.

W. H. Auden

A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish.

W. H. Auden

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.

W. H. Auden

Health is the state about which medicine has nothing to say.

W. H. Auden

No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted.

W. H. Auden

Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.

W. H. Auden

Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.

W. H. Auden

History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.

W. H. Auden

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.

W. H. Auden

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.

W. H. Auden

Let us honor if we can the vertical man, though we value none but the horizontal one

W. H. Auden

Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.

W. H. Auden

In headaches and in worry Vaguely life leaks away, And Time will have his fancy To-morrow or to-day

W. H. Auden

Nobody knows what the cause is, though some pretend they do; it like some hidden assassin waiting to strike at you. Childless women get it, and men when they retire; it as if there had to be some outlet for their foiled creative fire.

W. H. Auden

Now is the age of anxiety.

W. H. Auden

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