Wednesday, February 21, 2007

We are over half way through LGBT history month now, and we arrive today at the centenary of the birth of one of the greatest modern English poets W.H Auden.

W H Auden (1907-1973)
W H Auden (1907-1973)

Wystan Hugh Auden was born in York, where his father George Auden was a doctor and archaeologist. W.H. was the youngest of three sons.

Auden was always interested in science, and had expected to become a mining engineer until he was 15. In 1922 his schoolfriend Robert Medley first suggested that he should write poetry and the same year he lost his Christian faith. His first poems appeared in the Gresham's School magazine in 1923. After university Auden made journeys to Spain, Iceland and Germany, and his poetry was influenced by Marx and Freud. He was employed as a schoolmaster until the war, when he left England for the United States with Isherwood. In America he came under the influence of Christianity once again.

Auden's poem "funeral blues" was made famous by the funeral oration scene in "Four Weddings and a Funeral," but it was originally from a black comedy "The Ascent of F6," written by Auden and his friend Christopher Isherwood, which was dedicated to Auden's geologist brother John who explored and mapped the high Himalayas and K2.

More about W.H. Auden

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