W. H. Auden


W. H. Auden (1907-1973) was born in York, England and studied English at Christ Church, Oxford. He taught in British public schools and travelled widely before becoming an American citizen and teaching at various American universities. His first collection Poems, published in 1930, garnered wide public acclaim and he continued to publish before becoming a Professor of poetry at Oxford University. Auden was famous for writing in a remarkably wide range of styles and forms. Source

Funeral Blues

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 forever: 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.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Death & Loss


LGBTQ+ Experience

Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


a meditation on death, often in thoughtful mourning lamentation


exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally


an instruction or a command


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing


correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry