W. H. Auden Quotes and Quotations
Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
Let us humour if we can The vertical man Though we value none But the horizontal one.
What the mass media offer is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.
Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.
We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.
It is nonsense to speak of 'higher' and 'lower' pleasures. To a hungry man it is, rightly, more important that he eat than that he philosophize.
Man is a history-making creature who can neither repeat his past nor leave it behind.
Almost all of our relationships begin, and most of them continue, as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.
Any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting and significant than any romance, however passionate.
My poetry doesn't change from place to place - it changes with the years. It's very important to be one's age. You get ideas you have to turn down - 'I'm sorry, no longer'; 'I'm sorry, not yet.'
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.
Nobody can honestly think of himself as a strong character because, however successful he may be in overcoming them, he is necessarily aware of the doubts and temptations that accompany every important choice.
About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters; How well they understood Its human position; how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along.
When we do evil, We and our victims Are equally bewildered.
It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practising it.
To be happy means to be free, not from pain or fear, but from care or anxiety.
The relation of faith between subject and object is unique in every case. Hundreds may believe, but each has to believe by himself.
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.
Choice of attention ... 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.
If we really want to live, we'd better start at once to try.
Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer.
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
Cathedrals, Luxury liners laden with souls, Holding to the east their hulls of stone.