Thursday, February 21, 2008

Born On This Day (in 1907): Wystan Hugh Auden

I like poetry. I read poetry magazines. I write doggerel because it's fun and keeps my brain from getting any flabbier. Today, according to my calendar, is the birthday of W.H. Auden. Auden is one of my favorite poets, his work is layered but still direct and free of pretentious obfuscation. Unlike the phrase I just used. Sorry.

The Auden poems that most people are familiar with are Funeral Blues and September 1, 1939. For your reading pleasure, I would like to point you toward my favorite, Law Like Love. In addition, Random House has made available an MP3 of Mr. Auden reading Law Like Love. Thank you Randon House!

I know we're all readers, and some of us are writers. What authors connect with you on a visceral level? Is there someone you read because they make you think and you like their writing?

6 comments:

Janiece Murphy said...

Jospehine Hart. Damage. The tightest novel I've ever read, with absolute spot-on archtypes. You see yourself in every character.

But the movie was a big, stinking pile of poo.

Tania said...

I've seen the movie but never read the book. I actually liked the movie because of Jeremy Irons. He's on my list of people I'd listen to while they read from the phonebook.

vince said...

Top of my list would be Robert Heinlein. His "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" remains my favorite, followed by "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long" in "Time Enough For Love", and both have heavily influenced me. Othe authors that make me think - Phillip Yancy, J.R.R. Tolkien, Orson Scott Card (especially "Ender's Game" and "Speaker For The Dead", T. S. Elliot, Billy Collins (poet), Homer, Madeleine L'Engle, Scott Adams (esp. "The Dilbert principle" and "The Way Of The Weasel").

Sorry for such a long list. I love to read and own hundreds of books, both fiction and non-fiction.

Nathan said...

OK, fine, I'll probably catch some grief for this, (and I've said it before, elsewhere), but I think Stephen King is going to be the Mark Twain of our generation.

I swear the man is a genius. He takes a ludicrous premise and has you ducking under the covers because he makes you believe it so much.

And for those of you who think he's just about horror/wierd, you should read "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". (The movie is good, too, but we're talking about the writing, so read the novella you lazy git.) Its a beautiful and haunting bunch or words strung together in a way that few authors are capable of doing.

Thoroughly accessible. Thoroughly original. An absolute treasure.

Fine. Now you can all tell me how Plebian I am. Sorry, poetry just doesn't do it for me.

Tom said...

When I was into poety, it was Carl Sandberg and T. S. Eliot. You might say that is a strange combination, and I might agree with you.

As to books that make me think, they all do, even escapist and romantics. If I identify with the characters, I get a new point of view. If I don't, I wonder why.

But an author I like, who may be a bit off the beaten track, is Melissa Scott. Specifically the novels "Jazz" and "Trouble and Her Friends." Great characters.

Tom said...

Tania's my friend! (does a Snoopy dance)