Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) English-born American poet, essayist

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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. - Wystan Hugh Auden

The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living. - Wystan Hugh Auden

The most important truths are likely to be those which, society at that time least wants to hear. - Wystan Hugh Auden

And none will hear the postman's knock Without a quickening of the heart. For who can bear to feel himself forgotten? - Wystan Hugh Auden

In relation to a writer, most readers believe in the Double Standard: they may be unfaithful to him as often as they like, but he must never, never be unfaithful to them. - Wystan Hugh Auden

Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic. - Wystan Hugh Auden

I cannot accept the doctrine that in poetry there is a 'suspension of belief.' A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true. - Wystan Hugh Auden

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

A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish. - Wystan Hugh Auden