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Juvenilia: Poems, 1922-1928

by W H Auden Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 360 pages
AU$69.00 NZ$73.04
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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You know the terror that for poets lurks  Beyond the ferry when to Minos brought. Poets must utter their Collected Works,  Including Juvenilia.. . . --from 'Letter to Lord Byron' (1936) Regardless of how poets feel about their youthful attempts at verse, their early poems not only enrich our understanding of their artistic growth, but also reveal much about the nature of literary genius. No other twentieth-century poet has left behind such a wealth of early poetry as did W. H. Auden. By bringing together for the first time all the poems written by Auden between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one (1922-1928), this book allows us a rare, detailed look at the literary personality, development, and preoccupations of a major poet. Auden's readers will be fascinated to find in these poems the earliest evidence of his interest in psychoanalysis, his conflicted attitude toward his homosexuality, his self-conscious approach to poetry, and his life-long journey toward a religious sense of the world. This collection includes over two hundred poems, most of them never published before, concluding with the contents of Auden's privately printed volume, Poems (1928). The poems are generously annotated with information on Auden's education, reading, literary concerns, and personal life. In her introduction, Katherine Bucknell traces important themes relating to the poet's entire career, and describes crucial but hitherto unknown aspects of his youth during his years at Gresham's School and at Christ Church, Oxford. Throughout this work we see in Auden an admirable instinct for experiment, a thorough testing of tradition, and a gathering mastery of technique and thematic argument.






California 3

A Moment 4

The Blind Lead the Blind 5

Pardon 5

Dawn ('Far into the vast the mists grow dim') 6

On Seeing Some Dutch Pictures 6

Joy 7

Envoi ('You go') 7

Envoi No. 2 ('You go') 8

The Circus 8

Everest 9

Dream 10

February Dawn 11

A Rainy Afternoon 11

The Coming of Love 12

Nightfall ('Cool whisper of the trees') 12

Envoi ('Take up your load and go, lad') 13

To a Toadstool 14

To a Field-mouse 14

To a Small Buddha 15

On a Greek Tomb Relief 15

After Reading Keats' Ode 15

Belief 16

Sonnet ('This world is full of lovely things') 16

A Tale 17

Early Morning Bathing 19

Woods in Rain 20

Appletreewick 21

The Sower 22

The Lost Secret 22

Prayer 23

Autumn 24

The Dragon-fly 25

To a Child in Tears 25

November at Weybourne 26

Finis 28

Bawbcc 29

The Old Lead-mine 29

The Old Mine 31

March Song 31

Alston Moor 32

Skyreholme Mill 33

i. By Day

ii. By Night

September 34

The Plane Tree 34

Speech 35

Dawn ('On the cold waterfall, the flush of dawn gleams bright') -36

Song ('Past all your knowing') -36

March Winds 37

The Mill 37

Two Triolets 38

The Last Time 38

By the Fire 39

The North 39

We Sat 40

My Lady of the Wood 41

March 42

Envoi ('From the red chimneys smoke climbs slow and straight') 43

Song ('I have a little book') 44

Arthur's Quoit, Dyffryn 44

In the Nursery 45

Christ in Hades 46

Sonnet I ('There was desolate silence on the world') 47

Sonnet II ('It matters not that we shall cease to be') 47

Vision 48

Stone Walls ('Where do they travel to') 49

The Owl 50

Farglow 51

Inn Song 51

The Miner's Wife 52

In a Train 53

Rookhope (Weardale, Summer 1922) 54

The Cat 54

By the Gasworks, Solihull 55

The Robin 55

Early Morning ('Perched on a nettled stump he stands') 56

The Walk 57

Elegy ('Why was it that you gave us no warning') 57

The Old Colliery 59

The Rookery 60

After the Storm 61

The Tarn 62

Before ('I mark not without') 63

Buzzards 64

'There is so much that I can share with you' 65

After the Burial 66

The Traction-engine 67

J. S. Bach 67

The Candies Gutter Low 68

'Though thy rafters are grown rotten' 69

Allendale 70

At Parting ('Under the lamp's exhausted glare') 71

The Engine House 72

'Since the Autumn day' 73

The Pumping Engine, Cashwell 74

'Whenever I see for the first time' 75

The Mail-train, Crewe 76

'So I must go my way' 78

He Revisits the Spot 78

'The dew steams off the thatches' 79

'Now from far eastern wolds, the bay' 79

Nightfall ('As ghosts peer over a bedroom curtain') 80

Skyreholme Mill ('The mill-wheel never seems to tire') 80

Stone Walls ('One almost takes a hedge for granted') 81

'Like other men, when I go past' 82

'The crocus stars the border' 83

Damming Stream 8-3

Sunday Morning 84

A Visit 85

The Hidden Lane (Near Selbrigg, March 1925) 8-5

April in a Town 87

The Mill (Hempstead) 87

Elegy ('A wagtail splutters in the stream') 90

job 91

Richard Jefferies 92

The Sawmill 93

'Below me Ticknall lay but in the light' 94

'The Road's Your Place' 95

Landscape 96

The Dying House 96

Friendship 97

The Sunken Lane 98

Punchard 98

To E. T. 100

The Canal, Froghall 100

Song ('The merriest cuckoo') 101

Sonnet ('April is here but when will Easter come?') 102

Memento Creatoris Tui 103

Earth's Praises 104

Daily Bread 104

The Dark Fiddler 106

Maria hat geholfen 107

Sunshine 108

Autumn Evening 108

The Carter's Funeral 109

Rain 110

Ina Country Churchyard in

The Gipsy Girl 112

Frost 113

Flowers and Stationmaster 114

Ploughing 115

Helen 116

'At last, down in the lane' 117

Christmas Eve 118

Trippers I 19

Progress 121

Waste 121

Alone 122

Motherhood 123

On Receiving a Christmas Card 124

The Photograph of a Boy in Costume 124

At the Maison Lyons 125

An Episode 125

Song ('The crocus stars the border') 126

Lead's the Best 127

Felo de se 130

Dethroned 130

April 131

The Letter 132

Chloe to Daphnis in Hyde Park 134

Thomas Prologizes 136

Pride ('Love's specious information') 139

At Parting ('Though Time now tears apart') 140

Portrait 141

Amor Vincit Omnia 142

Yes and No 143

Cinders 143

Thomas Epilogizes 146

Humpty Dumpty 149

Lovers' Lane 153

Bank Holiday 156

Last Bus, Saturday Night 160

Song ('Relation seemed ordained for us') 161

First Meeting 162

Consequences 162

In Due Season 164

Early Morning ('Earth rolls these houses out into the sun') 16.5

Tea-time in November 166

The Happy Tree 167

Winter Afternoon 168

Say Yes! 169

Ballad 169

The Last of the Old Year 171

Before ('Unkempt and furtive the wind crawls') 172

Encounter 174

After 175

Day-dreams of a Tourist I

The Evolution of the Dragon 177

Pride ('When Little Claus meets Big Claus in the road') 180

Quique Amavit 181

Easter Monday 183

Narcissus 185

Hodge Looks toward London 188

Aware 191

Bach and the Lady 192

Extract 193

'Out of sight assuredly, not out of mind' 194

The Megalopsych 199

I. 'The sprinkler on the lawn'

II. "'The Megalopsych," says Aristotle'

III. '"Buzzards!" I heard you say'

IV. 'Squatting Euclid drew in sand'

V. 'The oboe notes'

VI. 'Consider, if you will, how lovers lie'

VII. 'Amoeba in the running water'

VIII. 'Upon the ridge the mill-sails glow'

IX. 'I wake with a dry mouth'

'The sprinkler on the lawn' 205

(a) 'The sprinkler on the lawn'

(b) 'Bones wrenched, weak whimper, lids wrinkled, first dazzle known'

(c) 'We saw in Spring'

(d) 'This peace can last no longer than the storm'

(e) "'Buzzards" I heard you say'

(f) 'Consider if you will how lovers stand'

(g) 'Amoeba in the running water'

(h) 'Upon the ridge the mill-sails glow'

'I chose this lean country' 210

'On the frontier at dawn getting down' 214

'No trenchant parting this' 215

'Truly our fathers had the gout' 216

'We, knowing the family history' 217

'Who stands, the crux left of the watershed' 218

'Suppose they met, the inevitable procedure' 220

'The crowing of the cock' 221

'Nor was that final, for about that time' 224

'Deemed this an outpost, I' 225

'Because sap fell away' 227

'The mind to body spoke the whole night through' 229

'From the very first coming down' 231

'The four sat on in the bare room' 232

'The houses rolled into the sun' 234

'The colonel to be shot at dawn' 234

'To-night when a full storm surrounds the house' 235

'The weeks of blizzard over' 236

'Light strives with darkness, right with wrong' 238

'Control of the Passes was. he saw, the key' 239

'Taller to-day, we remember similar evenings' 240

'The spring will come' 241

'The summer quickens grass' 242

'"Grow thin by walking and go inland"' 243

'Some say that handsome raider still at large' 244

'Often the man, alone shut, shall consider' 245

'To throw away the key and walk away' 246

'The Spring unsettles sleeping partnerships' 248

'No, not from this life, not from this life is any' 249

APPENDIX 'Rotation' by 'Mystan Baudom' 251


Katherine Bucknell has edited three volumes of ''Auden Studies'' (with Nicholas Jenkins) and Christopher Isherwood's ''Diaries: Volume One, 1939-1960'' and his ''Lost Years: A Memoir, 1945-1951''. She is now preparing a third and final volume of Isherwood's diaries.