W. H. Auden

English poet W. H. Auden was an important influence on many American composers, including Samuel Barber, Lukas Foss, Ned Rorem, Leo Smit, and Louise Talma. He was also a friend and collaborator of British composer Benjamin Britten and Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.

Photo: W. H. Auden, 1959, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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    Born in England, W. H. Auden permanently left for the United States in 1939 and became and American citizen, right at the outbreak of World War II.

    Music was a major influence on Auden’s poetry. In the words of Jeremy Robson: “The influence of music on Auden’s verse . . . has always been salient: even his worst lines often ‘sound’ impressive.” (Encounter)

    For more information about W. H. Auden, please visit the links below.

    Related Information



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