Horae Canonicae: Auden’s Vision of A Rood — a Study in Coherence

  • Peter Walker

Abstract

Wystan Auden included the sixteen pages of Horae Canonicae, published between 1949 and 1954 but not in the order in which they stand, in the less than one hundred and forty pages of his 1968 Selected Poems. That is not insignificant, in a poet matter-of-fact to the point of ruthlessness (to the fury of the Beaches of this world and the suspicion of his latest biographer)1 in discarding or amending work which had come to seem to him to lack integrity. For Auden, there was no given or autonomous ‘mystic’ or ‘vatic’ Tightness about a poem to set it above the question ‘Would its truthfulness stand up?’

Keywords

Dust Coherence Beach Fishing Crest 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Joseph Warren Beach, The Making of the Auden Canon, (New York, 1957), passim;Google Scholar
  2. and Humphrey Carpenter, W. H. Auden: A Biography (London, 1981), pp. 415f.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    John Fuller, A Reader’s Guide to W. H. Auden (London and New York, 1970), p. 238.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
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  5. 4.
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    Thinking began on Horae Canonicae in 1947. See W. H. Auden: A Tribute, edited by Stephen Spender (London, 1974, 1975), p. 116 (Ursula Niebuhr).Google Scholar
  8. 12.
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  13. 21.
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  14. 23.
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    A. Ridler, The Image of the City (London, 1958), Introduction, p. xxxi.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© David Jasper 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Walker

There are no affiliations available

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