The Dyer's Hand (Vintage International) (Paperback)
In this volume, W. H. Auden assembled, edited, and arranged the best of his prose writing, including the famous lectures he delivered as Oxford Professor of Poetry. The result is less a formal collection of essays than an extended and linked series of observations--on poetry, art, and the observation of life in general. The Dyer's Hand is a surprisingly personal, intimate view of the author's mind, whose central focus is poetry--Shakespearean poetry in particular--but whose province is the author's whole experience of the twentieth century.
W. H. Auden (1907-1973) was one of the wittiest and most worldly of English poetry's great twentieth century masters. His work ranges from the political to the religious, from the urbane to the romantic. He is also, with his exhilarating lyrical power and understanding of love and longing in all their sacred and profane guises, an exemplary champion of human wisdom in its encounter with the mysteries of experience. More than any other poet, Auden used his poetry as an instrument to study the massive forces, dramas, and upheavals of the twentieth century, and his work displays an astonishing range of voice and breadth of concern.