Oh, it is by far one of the most read poems about love, this poem by W.H. Auden. To be honest, it is a beautiful poem about love. This is the poem Lullaby.

About W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden in 1964
W.H. Auden in 1964. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Wystan Hugh Auden was born on February 21 1907 in Birmingham. He studied at the University of Oxford and was one of the editors of the Oxford Poetry. He would develop into one of the most left-winged poets of his time. His first collection of poems was published in 1928 (Poems).

After living in Oxford for some years, he decided to move to Berlin. But, he was tempted to go back to his home country, where he would teach at to two different schools. It was the poem The orators, that brought him (world) fame in 1932.

In an attempt to help writer and actrice Erika Mann (oldest daughter of Thomas Mann) to get the Brittish citizenship, he married her in 1935. The Nazis took her German citizenship. The marriage was openly homosexual, so the marriage raised some questions. The two of them never lived together, but remained friends during their whole life.

Auden became an American citizen in 1945, after he emigrated there with his friend Christopher Isherwood. In the United States he got romantically involved with the poet and translator Chester Kallman.

The political beliefs of Auden changed from Marxism to Christianity. His work was awarded with various prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

The last years of his life, he lived in Austria and Oxford. On September 29 1973, he passed away in the Austrian city Vienna. He was buried in Austria.



By W.H. Auden

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit’s sensual ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry;
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of sweetness show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find the mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness see you fed
By the inovluntary powers,
Nights of the insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

About Lullaby

It’s time to go to sleep, according to W.H. Auden. His love, can rest on his arm. And as this happens, the poet thinks about love, beauty and the boundries that do not exist between two lovers.

At midnight, these visions of the poet seem to die. A new day is born, with the hope that there will be another sweet day as the one before.


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