Quotes by W. H. Auden

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.
– W. H. Auden
When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a room full of dukes.
– W. H. Auden
You have to see the sex act comically, as a child.
– W. H. Auden
You know there are no secrets in America. It's quite different in England, where people think of a secret as a shared relation between two people.
– W. H. Auden
You must go to bed with friends or whores, where money makes up the difference in beauty or desire.
– W. H. Auden
You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at.
– W. H. Auden
No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
– W. H. Auden
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
– W. H. Auden
A poet's hope: to be,
like some valley cheese,
local, but prized elsewhere.
– W. H. Auden
Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist.
– W. H. Auden
It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.
– W. H. Auden
History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.
– W. H. Auden
Every American poet feels that the whole responsibility for contemporary poetry has fallen upon his shoulders, that he is a literary aristocracy of one.
– W. H. Auden
All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him.
– W. H. Auden
'Healing,' Papa would tell me, 'is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.'
– W. H. Auden