W. H. Auden Quotations

-The idea of being one’s own master appeals to most human beings.

-I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

-Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-Everyone in his heart of hearts agrees with Baudelaire: ‘To be a useful person has always seemed to me something particularly horrible,’ for, subjectively, to be useful means to be doing not what one wants to do, but what someone else insists on one’s doing. But at the same time, everyone is ashamed to admit in public that he is useless.

-Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
W. H. Auden