Quotes by W. H. Auden

My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain.
– W. H. Auden
No hero is mortal till he dies.
– W. H. Auden
No human being is innocent, but there is a class of innocent human actions called Games.
– W. H. Auden
Nobody knows what the cause is, though some pretend they do; it like some hidden assassin waiting to strike at you. Childless women get it, and men when they retire; it as if there had to be some outlet for their foiled creative fire.
– W. H. Auden
Now is the age of anxiety.
– W. H. Auden
One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.
– W. H. Auden
Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.
– W. H. Auden
Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master's commands when, in fact, he is obliged to. Most slaves of habit suffer from this delusion and so do some writers, enslaved by an all too ''personal'' style.
– W. H. Auden
Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.
– W. H. Auden
Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.
– W. H. Auden
The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.
– W. H. Auden
The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.
– W. H. Auden
The countenances of children, like those of animals, are masks, not faces, for they have not yet developed a significant profile of their own.
– W. H. Auden
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.
– W. H. Auden
The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.
– W. H. Auden
There's only one good test of pornography. Get twelve normal men to read the book, and then ask them, ''Did you get an erection?'' If the answer is ''Yes'' from a majority of the twelve, then the book is pornographic.
– W. H. Auden
To save your world you asked this man to die; would this man, could he see you now, ask why?
– W. H. Auden
To the man-in-the-street, who, I'm sorry to say, is a keen observer of life, the word 'Intellectual' suggests straight away a man who's untrue to his wife.
– W. H. Auden
We all have these places where shy humiliations gambol on sunny afternoons.
– W. H. Auden
We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.
– W. H. Auden