W. H. Auden: Poems

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Poems (1930; revised 1933) is the unimaginatively plain title of W. H. Auden’s first published collection of poetry. Its contents, however, are anything but plain or unimaginative, this book announcing the arrival of an intriguingly original new talent on the English poetic scene. Nothing in Poems had appeared before the poetry-reading public in magazines or anthologies prior to January 1930, with the result that Auden did not acquire gradual recognition but seemed to arrive fully-formed as a sudden revelation, although readers struggled to make full sense of the poems. He was only 23 years old when it appeared, but his first book exerted a shaping influence on a new generation of writers in the 1930s.

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Citation: Baldick, Chris. "Poems". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 February 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=38920, accessed 29 January 2023.]

38920 Poems 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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