The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Poems, Volume I: 1927–1939

W. H. Auden


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Princeton University Press
9 August 2022
ISBN: 9780691219295
848 pages

From the publisher

Edited by Edward Mendelson

W. H. Auden (1907–1973) is one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, and his reputation has only grown since his death. Published on the hundredth anniversary of the year in which he began to write poetry, this is the first of two volumes of the first complete edition of Auden’s poems. Edited, introduced, and annotated by renowned Auden scholar Edward Mendelson, this definitive edition includes all the poems Auden wrote for publication, in their original texts, and all his later revised versions, as well as poems and songs he never published, some of them printed here for the first time.

This volume traces the development of Auden’s early career, and contains all the poems, including juvenilia, that he published or submitted for publication, from his first printed work, in 1927, at age twenty, through the poems he wrote during his first months in America, in 1939, when he was thirty-two. The book also includes poems that Auden wrote during his adult career with the expectation that he might publish them, but which he never did; song lyrics that he wrote to be set to music by Benjamin Britten, but which he never put into print; and verses that he wrote for magazines at schools where he was teaching.

The main text presents the poems in their original published versions. The notes include the extensive revisions that he made to his poems over the course of his career, and provide explanations of obscure references.

The second volume of this edition, Poems, Volume 2: 1940–1973, is also available.