W. H. Auden was once described as the Picasso of modern poetry - a tribute to his ceaseless experimentation with form and subject matter. Beginning with Anglo-Saxon poetry and ending with an Horatian expansiveness and conversational sweep, this volume is essential reading for anyone seriously interested in modern poetry after T.
S. Eliot. In his lifetime a controversial, outspoken, yet enigmatic, writer, Auden has gradually come to seem an intimate poet, as we have learned to read him correctly. This volume is the best possible introduction to his consummate craftsmanship and his unparalleled originality which made him the master-poet of his generation.