W.H. Auden

What you learn when you learn a poem by heart

10 September 2016 9:00 am

I’ve just learned by heart another poem — my first in nearly 30 years. The one I chose was A.E.…

Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell and the rebirth of a nation

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The purpose of Lara Feigel’s book is to describe the ‘political mission of reconciliation and restoration’ in the devastated cities…

Hide and seek with T.S. Eliot

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Not only is this the definitive edition of T.S. Eliot’s poems, it is also the best biography of the poet we have, says Daniel Swift

Oliver Sacks bids farewell in style

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘I cannot say there is no vanity in making this funeral oration of myself, but I hope it is not…

‘Capel-y-ffin’, 1926–7 (watercolour and gouache)

David Jones: painter, poet and mystic

26 September 2015 8:00 am

David Jones (1895–1974) was a remarkable figure: artist and poet, he was a great original in both disciplines. His was…

The mean, bullying maestro is extinct – or should be

5 April 2014 9:00 am

W.H.Auden once wrote: ‘Real artists are not nice people. All their best feelings go into their work and life has…

Clean-voiced and suave: Mark Wilde as the balladeer Jonny Inkslinger in‘Paul Bunyan’

Why is Tippett's King Priam so difficult to love?

1 March 2014 9:00 am

The difference between lovable, likable and admirable is perhaps more significant in the operatic world than in other artistic spheres…

What would Auden have deemed evil in our time? European jingoism

9 November 2013 9:00 am

‘Goodbye to the Mezzogiorno’ was the first Auden poem that Alexander McCall Smith read in his youth. He discovered it…