Auden At Centennial: Popular, And Still Defiant

A century after his birth, W.H. Auden “resists the efforts of readers to delimit him or publishers to comfortably sell him…. The poet who makes me go to his beloved OED to find out what those obscure, toothsome words mean is the same poet who demanded that the poems in his first Collected Poetry in 1945 be printed alphabetically according to the first word of each poem rather than chronologically, so as to frustrate readers’ preconceived notions about him.”