Tuesday, November 19, 2019

W.H. Auden’s “September 1, 1939” - The Biography of a Poem by Ian Sansom

British writer Ian Sansom has been working on a book about the poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973) for 25 years, and he finally published it. It’s ostensibly about a poem Auden wrote, a poem that Auden himself didn’t like very much. Sansom calls it September 1, 1939: The Biography of a Poem.

I say that it’s “ostensibly” what the book is about. It’s about the poem, and Auden’s life. It’s also about the author, the author’s life, and what happened during those 25 years he didn’t write the book about Auden. It’s literary criticism, too, but this book is unlike any kind of poetry analysis, literary criticism, or biography that I’ve ever read.  I don’t think I can tell you what that difference is, but I can show you.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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