Sunday, February 18, 2007

Auden on the telly

Tonight's The South Bank Show on ITV1 spends an hour minus ad breaks looking at the life and work of W H Auden. It marks the centenary of his birth.

No doubt we'll be persuaded to accept the poet's "relevence" to the contemporary world. In last week's TLS, Nicholas Jenkins described how "[w]hat might be called the first poem of the Second World War was taken up on what seems like the threshold of another period of global conflict". This is, of course, September 1, 1939. He presents evidence from a posting on a newsgroup on the 13th, another on the 17th and from Slate on the 18th. Perhaps he didn't notice Splinters' blog.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:11 am

    Interesting. I see that I didn't cite the poem til May 11, 2004:

    Took me a minute to realize why that was:

    Which reminds me that in some ways Auden's poem in less relevant than it seems. Unlike the evil in Auden's poem, ours isn't merely repetitive ("Mismanagement and grief:/We must suffer them all again."); it's cyclical.

    Makes one shudder to anticipate the next time we'll reach for these words ...



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