On Auden

Four poets salute the centenary of W H Auden's birth.

Read by Tim Pigott-smith

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Four poets salute the centenary of W H Auden's birth.

Read by Tim Pigott-smithAmerican poet Dana Gioia, now chief executive of the National Endowment for the Arts, considers the wisdom and example of a man whom he considers a guide and mentor.


Award-winning writer Kate Clanchy looks at Auden's earlier works, including Refugee Blues and In Memory of W B Yeats, and explores his political attitudes and their contemporary relevance.


Glyn Maxwell once travelled to Iceland with Simon Armitage in the footsteps of Auden and Louis Macneice.

He explores the distinctive nature of Auden's poems and how they work, with samples including The Fall of Rome and The Shield of Achilles.

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Peter Porter explores Auden's plays and libretti.

He looks at The Dog Beneath the Skin, written with Christopher Isherwood, and the libretto of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.

Porter believes that in addition to Auden's stature as one of the 20th Century's finest lyric poets, these works guarantee his place among the finest dramatic writers.