Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

— W. H. Auden

The most exciting W. H. Auden quotes that will add value to your life

Water is the soul of the Earth.

221

All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.

99

Civilizations should be measured by the degree of diversity attained and the degree of unity retained.

98

We would rather be ruined than changed.

We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die.

97

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.

95

Few people take an interest in Iceland, but in those few the interest is passionate.

71

The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.

66

The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears.

65

No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.

65

Dance till the stars come down from the rafters Dance, Dance, Dance 'till you drop.

63

My deepest feeling about politicians is that they are dangerous lunatics to be avoided when possible and carefully humored; people, above all, to whom one must never tell the truth.

58

Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him, he would be set free in a few years by its fading.

55

About W. H. Auden

Quotes 431 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Poet
Birthday February 21, 1907

Young people, who are still uncertain of their identity, often try on a succession of masks in the hope of finding the one which suits them - the one, in fact, which is not a mask.

54

A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.

53

A small grove massacred to the last ash, An oak with heart-rot, give away the show: This great society is going to smash; They cannot fool us with how fast they go, How much they cost each other and the gods. A culture is no better than its woods.

52

Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.

48

There's always another story. There's more than meets the eye.

45

Music is the best means we have of digesting time.

44

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.

43

A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep.

41

Whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say

39

No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.

39

You shall love your crooked neighbour, with your crooked heart.

39

Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.

36

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.

36

I'll love you till the ocean Is folded and hung up to dry And the seven stars go squawking Like geese about the sky.

35

History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.

34

Swans in the winter air A white perfection have

34

The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.

33

Those who will not reason, perish in the act. Those who will not act, perish for that reason.

29

Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.

28

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

28

Desire, even in its wildest tantrums, can neither persuade me it is love nor stop me from wishing it were.

28

No human being is innocent, but there is a class of innocent human actions called Games.

28

Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.

27

A tremendous number of people in America work very hard at something that bores them. Even a rich man thinks he has to go down to the office everyday. Not because he likes it but because he can't think of anything else to do.

26

Criticism should be a casual conversation.

25

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.

25

One rational voice is dumb: over a grave The household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved. Sad is Eros, builder of cities, And weeping anarchic Aphrodite.

25

You know there are no secrets in America.

It's quite different in England, where people think of a secret as a shared relation between two people.

24

A person incapable of imaging another world than given to him by his senses would be subhuman, and a person who identifies his imaginary world with the world of sensory fact has become insane.

24

I'll love you, dear, I'll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street.

24

Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic.

23

Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience.

Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.

23

A vice in common can be the ground of a friendship but not a virtue in common.

X and Y may be friends because they are both drunkards or womanizers but, if they are both sober and chaste, they are friends for some other reason.

23

Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.

22

Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow.

20

Dance, dance, dance till you drop.

20

Murder is commoner among cooks than among members of any other profession.

19
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