The Aspects that Influenced the Poetry of Auden and the Question of Existentialism Research Paper

August 17, 2021 by Essay Writer


The poems of Wystan Hugh Auden in the 1940s covered religious and ethical subjects in a less impressive way than his previous poems. However, the poems merged traditional types and styles with fresh types that were influenced by the existentialism movement as well as Søren Aabye Kierkegaard and his existentialistic ideas.

Many of Auden’s poems in the 1950s as well as in the 1960s concentrated on the manners in which words disclosed and masked sentiments, and he acquired a fastidious attention in opera librettos, a type perfectly associated with direct articulation of strong sentiments. Auden was as well a fruitful author of prose essays in addition to assessments on legendary, political, emotional, and religious topics (Callan 211-213).

At different times, Auden worked on poetic plays, documentary movies, and other types of performance. All through his career, Auden was both controversial and dominant. Influenced by existentialism, the 1947 poem called Wrote Monroe K. Spears was a compassionate satire on the efforts of human beings to flee, via their own endeavours, the nervousness of time.

Auden hit a chord in the attention of his readers with his opportune handling of the ethical and political matters that directly influenced them. Auden became recognised not merely as a great poet, but as well a Christian humanist (Callan 214-215).

This was not due to any scheme amid moralizing modern Christian academicians, but because the era necessitated such a figure. This research paper discusses how existentialism movement and ideas of Kierkegaard influenced the poetry of Auden.

Understanding Existentialism

Existentialism is the idealistic and edifying movement that admits that the starting position of idealistic thinking should be the practices of a person. Ethical and technical judgments together do not serve to comprehend human existence; therefore, an additional set of groups administered by a standard of authenticity is essential to comprehend human existence.

In the perspective of existentialism, authenticity is being accurate to one’s personal individuality, spirit, or nature (Jacobs 26-28).

Existentialism started in the 19th century as a response to opposition of the then-prevailing methodical philosophies like the ones built up by Kant and Hegel. Kierkegaard, usually believed to be the foremost existentialist philosopher, held that a person is exclusively accountable for giving sense to existence and for existing zealously and earnestly (authentically).

Existentialism gained popularity in the years subsequent to the Second World War and controlled a variety of fields in addition to the fields of philosophy. Some of these fields included literature, drama, religious studies, psychology, and art. Existentialists normally regard traditional logical or scholarly philosophies, in both approach and substance, as excessively abstract and distant from tangible human experience.

Conventionally, experts in a given field of study do not differ greatly in ideologies and the differences are in most cases justifiable; however, philosophers differ sharply in their opinions even when addressing the same issue. Disapprovals of existentialism comprise the claims that existentialists confuse the application of their expressions and consequently dispute their arguments and creeds.

Influence of Existentialism on the poetry of Auden

It did not take long after Auden started writing poems at formative years before he came to comprehend that the means of his career was anchored in words. Afterwards, Auden started as a poet in a fresh territory, a place renowned for heartening new initial stages.

When Auden and his close acquaintance, Christopher Isherwood, took a voyage for the US, he was the most reputed youthful poet in Britain, but according to him this vocation was at a deadlock. Every one of the forms for the poetry life that he had examined in the earlier decade had amounted to emptiness, barrenness, and in a number of instances repulsiveness (Jacobs 28-29).

Nevertheless, Auden had no idea of what could restore these forms of poetry. Before leaving Britain, Auden alleged that a writer has a gift. The existence of a gift denotes the action of a provider and thus the question that remains is about the giver of the gift of writing poems. The conversion of Auden into a Christian later on signified that he had obtained the response to that question.

However, the conversion never settled his bewilderment concerning his existence as a poet. He was left to ponder on the question of what he needed to carry out with the gift offered to him by God. During the Second World War, from his residence in New York, the search of a solution to that question made Auden undertake a noteworthy scholarly and sacred expedition (Jacobs 30-32).

In evaluations and writings ordered by chief American publications, Auden would discover intellectuals and thoughts that he expected could assist him discover what he was expected to accomplish as a poet, and at that point Auden considered the possibility of exploring existentialism, Kierkegaard, and other figures like the historians and philosophers.

Among the many poems by Auden there exist a number of his excellent accomplishments comprising the three lengthy poems he wrote in the years 1941 to 1947. Some of his poems include For the Time Being, The Sea and the Mirror, and The Age of Anxiety.

Some of the poems by Auden have dazzling passages, but are defected in either their perception or implementation and thus fail to present an apparent and convincing account of the setback they set out to tackle. His position is not that his poetry is not as many as they would have been, but that not any of them pleased its readers.

During his thirties, Auden had cultivated anticipations that a poet may be a seer or even a rescuer of an ill and messy community (Mendelson Prose, Volume II 478).

In the after effects of his conversion, the judgment of Auden was dictated by what he afterward termed as neo-Calvinist, overstatement of superiority of God. Auden found a poem helpful just when it admitted its desperate and ineffectual distance from everything right or excellent that it attempted to symbolise.

Influenced by existentialism, Auden clarifies what he believes to be the single type of condition in which poetry receives valid enlightenment (Mendelson Prose, Volume II 479-480). He requests readers to picture the best grandest genre provided by a very simple touring company in existence. Ironically, the real dearth and ineffectiveness of creation makes poetry precious to its performers.

In addition, for the very first instance in their existence, the readers hear of the true word that is their sole purpose.

When all deceptions to artistic accomplishment powerlessly fall off and the performers are faced with the real selves that they had applied their concerts to run away from, they regain consciousness of the superiority of God specifically in their detachment from Him. Only in God, amid the trashes and in bodies, can poets celebrate in the ideated effort that is not theirs.

In accordance with this sought spiritual equilibrium, readers excellently appreciate the series of poems by Auden as anchored in the sanctioned hours that preside over occasions in cloistral societies and numerous churches. The poems by Auden have seldom been accorded serious consideration. The poems occupied the attention of Auden greater than any other occupation in his career.

In these poems, several of which are deceivingly informal in nature, Auden tries to accomplish no less than taking in self-reproach and appreciation, requirement, and autonomy. The initial poem entitled Prime starts with an arousing (Mendelson Prose, Volume II 481-483). In this initial preconscious instant of having eyes open, Auden is like Adam before all happenings.

Nevertheless, he is as well fearful of his existing mission, the dying process. In another poem, Auden affirms of human’s fatality, the one to perform the becoming of extinct, the one who is aware that by dusk our Good Friday will be at hand. The day of the occurrence of these incidents is Good Friday, and the location where they take place is Jerusalem, or any other place.

This apposition of instances and circumstances is enabled by the comprehension of moment incarnated in the sanctioned hours. In this regard, similar to the calendar of a church year, once occurring incidents (the declaration of ruling, the Crucifixion, the resurrection) are commemorated and in a way enacted.

Nevertheless, this commemoration occurs every other day in every year subject to seasons and bodily requirements. Accordingly, the succession concludes, not with the twilight orison of Complin, but with praises, the song of a different daybreak (Mendelson Prose, Volume II 484-486).

This next morning song does not just highlight the recurring nature of physical activities encompassing reverence, but as well signifies the sanctified progress from deadly remembrance to unconditional optimism. This aspect is not inspirational free from the bodily world but a humiliating and saving rush back into it (Carpenter 23-25). With these thoughts, Auden got himself a place in the world of poetry.

He was not just in both his career and his body, their reunion is one of the confidential accomplishments of the poem, but as well in the dual world of life and record, not a fanciful past or an imaginative prospect but the position he existed in that moment. People can accomplish the works for which they are called if only they exist in the humanity where God has positioned them.

The reason behind Christians being so unresponsive to Auden is that Auden is nearly completely disregarded and this situation bears expression. The initial setback is an apparent one, viz. all through the life of Auden, he was engaging in homosexuality. Subsequent to his change to Christianity, sexual orientations like those became difficult for him to handle and justify.

His religious conviction doomed his sexual orientation and he consented that it was evil, though he completely determined to continue sinning. This argument is however partially true. In a correspondence to Isherwood, Auden affirmed that even though he believed that homosexuality was evil, surprisingly, it had in any case saved him from turning into a leader of the institution (Carpenter 26-28).

The remark is enlightening. Auden attempted to defy his sexual appeals, but they turned out to be tougher than he was. He regretfully repeated a well-known petition of Augustine in a poem by writing and repeating that he was sorry. In the poem, he continued to tell the Lord to make him pure, but not thus far.

Nevertheless, his willpower to consecrate what there is for existence led him to search for means to be thankful to the Lord even for his offenses and sufferings, through which he trusted God to act for His own reasons.

Auden as well considered that the people of his sexual orientation were less probable to participate in the idolatry of Eros, which is very widespread amid heterosexuals (Carpenter 30-35). Therefore, his view of homosexuality was a suffering that abode the source of likely blessings.

Concerning these issues, however intricate the position of Auden, the simple reality of his sexual orientation kept him off the publications of several Christians, even Christians that are fast to pardon a number of people for spanking or being spanked by youthful women. The world of Christianity has its pecking order of offenses and may be correct in its conclusions (Kirsch 32-34).

Nevertheless, it is exceptionally unlucky that although people had judged the evils of Auden in the correct way, people should permit that verdict to hinder learning from the knowledge enclosed in his poetry. Whatever the case may be, homosexuality alone is not sufficient to clarify the Christian disregard of Auden. Most significant, maybe, is his existentialism stress on indirect statements.

This stress originated from the determination of Auden to apologise of his flattering affirmations of his own significance and that of his colleagues (Kirsch 35-37).

Nevertheless, for the greater fraction, Christian readers do not desire their poets to be lowly; however, being rather romantic, they have a tendency of desiring poets that are forecasters, prophets, and unrecognised lawmakers of the world only so long as they are ‘truly’ Christians. As they frequently articulate, Christians are fond of poems that are based on salvation.

However, Auden comprehended that nobody and nothing is redemptive apart from Jesus Christ. Auden affirmed that if Mary, the mother of Jesus, is in charge of the instances of crucial importance in the world, there is nothing that poetry can include to the incarnation of Jesus.

Auden constantly rejected the perception that poetry has some perquisite access to reality, any particularly sanctified task to undertake. Poetry was undoubtedly his career, and he adored it. For Auden, poetry is the only guiltless form of affection, an intentional sacrifice of personality in a thing.

He recognised that he might be mistaken not to feel affection for his career coupled with not accomplishing what he termed as eye-on-the-thing gaze attribute of individuals who are disregarding themselves in a role (Kirsch 38-40). In addition, Auden would by no means assert that his calling was greater than any other person’s calling was.

Therefore, Auden was an ardent Lutheran in stressing the decorum of all calling as per God’s purposes. It does not meet anyone in surprise that Auden wrote a poem derived from the medieval fairy tale of the underprivileged that cannot present something to the Christ infant, but his beguiling. The offering of the underprivileged is taken not due to its exceptional value, but due to his presenting what he had to offer.

Due to this penitential meekness, Auden began claiming repeatedly that in poetry one cannot talk the reality directly and unambiguously. In a well-reputed poem entitled Friday’s Child, Auden recalls, in a typically indirect way, the bereavement of the martyr Dietrich (Kirsch 41-44).

The designation of this poem is characteristic of the advance of Auden; that is, he is confident that the reader will recall the child to Friday was affectionate and generous, and that the reader will appreciate that the elderly mother portrays the remembrance of Good Friday; that is, when the Lord loved and provided most entirely.

The poem ends with a prayer, and a suggestion, of stillness in the countenance of a vice that cannot be understood and a conviction that, as embraced in existentialism, can be neither clarified nor vindicated:

Now, did He really break the seal

and rise again? We dare not say;

but conscious unbelievers feel

Quite sure of Judgment Day.

Meanwhile, a silence on the cross

As dead as we shall ever be,

Speaks of some total gain or loss,

And you and I are free

To guess from the insulted face

Just what Appearances He saves

By suffering in a public place

A death reserved for slaves (Auden Friday’s Child Stanza10-12)

The main expression here could be “We dare not say” (Stanza 10). The aforementioned expression is not similar to “We dare not trust” even though Auden frequently admitted, in his afterward years, to sullen times of distrust, nor does it signify “We dare not declare”, because certainly Auden frequently did declare, in church in any case.

Consistent with scripture, Jesus resurrected on the third day and consistent with Auden, ‘we’ does not talk about Christians, but about poets, whose affinity to express some deep deception makes them unsuitable carriers of the gospel declaration. Similar to what Auden said repetitively, nearly fanatically, orthodoxy is silence for orthodoxy recognises when to be quiet (Mendelson Prose, Volume IV 57-59).

Unfortunately, many Christians would not love to read such precepts especially from their poets, who conventionally should be prophesying good things to the Christian family.

Nevertheless, Auden was aware of what poetry cannot carry out, and at all times felt the necessity to position himself as well as his colleagues (poets) in his correct position. Therefore, the amusingly self-shrinking inquiry in Complin could ask if poets can become saved.

In his late life, Auden said in a speech that he, together with his colleague citizens of the state of correspondences, had just a single political responsibility, which was to have affection for the word and guard it against its rivals and any evil. There are a couple of main rivals of the correct word, viz. the unused word as well as the Black Juggler.

Contrary, Auden ultimately perceived several of his early poem as unbearably lackadaisical not just in its practice but in its ignorance for whether it preordained what it alleged. It was packed with inactive words; however, the other rival was very hazardous (Mendelson Prose, Volume IV 62-64). The Black Juggler persuades poets to consider that they might be seers and saviours.

Alternatively, as affirmed by Auden, previously in an assessment, he attempts to make an individual try to work for himself or other people what can merely be made in a number of other ways, by deed, or reading, or petition through the writing of poems. Auden employs poems to remind readers of what poems can by no means provide.

Nevertheless, in the conclusion, this move dispenses poems as authentic and imperative tasks, as they position at all times past themselves in a speechless observer to which it is not capable of speaking definitively. Auden stated this aspect in a later poem by affirming that human beings can simply accomplish what it they perceive to have been created for (Jacobs 46-48).

He continues to state that people ought to observe this planet with a cheerful glance, but from a sedate point of view.

Influence of Kierkegaard on the poetry of Auden

Kierkegaard was a philosophical and prolific author in the Danish golden era of academic and artistic action. The work of Kierkegaard cuts across the fields of literary criticism, philosophy, religious studies, psychology, affection literature, and non-factual literature. Kierkegaard brought effective mixture of discussions to stand as social assessment and for the intention of refurbishing Christian faith in Christianity.

At the same time, Kierkegaard made numerous original theoretical involvements to each of the fields he applied. He is referred to as the father of existentialism (Smith 45-47). He concentrated on individual human experience instead of the objective facts of mathematics and other disciplines, which he considered excessively separated or observational to obtain at the human experience.

He was concerned with quiet effort of the people with the obvious vanity of life and the application of distraction to flee from boredom therein. Kierkegaard as well reflected on the task of making free preferences, mainly concerning basic principles and beliefs, the way preferences change the character and individuality of the chooser.

The Knight of Faith by Kierkegaard is a representative of individuals that show evidence of choice, in that they identify the manner of their own living. Kierkegaard considered that a person should exist in line with his or her judgment. This opinion is compelled upon spiritual persons much more frequently than upon psychologists, scientists, and philosophers (Jacobs 49-51).

Likewise, Auden after deliberating on the manner of existence he lived subsequent to giving up his mysterious powers and claimed that he had never dreamed in the line of reality/was a means of quietness (Smith 49-51). However, if Prospero is correct in this, what else can the poet carry out apart from end writing?

The reader expects that at this position in his poetry, Auden would consider exactly that; that is, crafting his version of The Tempest in a bid to exit from poetry, as The Tempest has at all times been understood as Shakespeare’s (not merely Prospero’s) exit from the spectacular arts.

Furthermore, Auden kept on considering that poetry was the career in which he was called, not merely by his spirit or abilities, but by God, who is the creator and provider of every good thing (as Auden wrote in a poem in the year 1940). Nevertheless, in which way, having the incapability of language to take hold of the most significant things in and past this human race, would he accomplish that calling?

With a thorough consideration of this difficulty, Auden achieved certain perceptions from Kierkegaard. For instance, Auden established that indirect communication employed by Kierkegaard was helpful. The works of Kierkegaard that have gained most reputation are not exclusively Christian.

Books like those are effortlessly distinctive (Smith 53-55). This argument holds because Kierkegaard did not mark his details to them, they emerged under different anonyms. The aforementioned works move toward the inquiries with which Christendom is most pertained; however, they do not give Christendom responses to those inquiries.

In fact, their lack of generating compelling answers takes the reader in the direction of the Christendom faith that can solely give what is required. Kierkegaard affirmed that a false impression can by no means be wiped out directly but rather through indirect ways. Auden took up this advance and acclimatised it to his poetic requirements (Smith 56-57).

In the excellent poems of his adulthood, Christendom emerges as the lacking section of the puzzle, the response to an inquiry no one considered asking. For example, in The Shield of Achilles, a great poem of the 20th century, Hephaestus (blacksmith god), followed by Thetis (mother to Achilles), reveal the world as it emerges to the sensual observation, the observation not clarified by Christian faith.

Auden writes of three light forms adhered to three poles; the poem specifies their state as follows:

The mass and majesty of this world, all

That carries weight and always weighs the same

Lay in the hands of others; they were small

And could not hope for help and no help came:

What their foes liked to do was done, their shame

Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride

And died as men before their bodies died (Auden The Shield of Achilles Stanza 6)

In a short while, another form is revealed in stanza 8 as follows:

A ragged urchin, aimless and alone,

Loitered about that vacancy; a bird

Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone:

That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,

Were axioms to him, who’d never heard

Of any world where promises were kept,

Or one could weep because another wept (Auden stanza 8).

In the Christendom comprehension, people certainly exist in a world full of occurrence of incidents (Jacobs 52-54). Nevertheless, while the cold observation of Hephaestus observes with horrifying precision, it is sightless to a number of things. For instance, one of the adhered forms might be dissimilar from the others (Callan 216-217). At some place, there is adherence to promises and individuals sob with others that are sobbing.

In the aforementioned poem by Auden, the Christendom explanation of the past is stirred up more impressively by its nonexistence; in other words, the indirect contact of The Shield of Achilles has a strength that evident testimonials frequently do not have.

The faith in Christendom assisted Auden to continue writing in a different manner also by presenting him, even if not instantly and not lacking years of intense learning and likeness, in a manner of understanding a difficulty that had preoccupied him for numerous years including the association involving autonomy and obligation.

In approximately all great poems that Auden wrote following his coming to the US, he has integrated the noteworthy occurrences of his life in several manners (Callan 218). However, he tackled each time a fresh difference on his core argument regardless of those occurrences being well comprehended as the result of spontaneous requirement or of free selection.

Auden ended up making the difficulty in this manner; that is, unaccompanied amid the beings, human beings exist in records in addition to nature. Naturally, every one observes the regulations that oversee their being. People just make decisions and live out the outcomes thereof (Callan 219).

That is what the past denotes in a great poem by Auden referred to as Their Lonely Betters. Auden takes a seat in his yard, pays attention, and reflects on what he listens:

A robin with no Christian name ran through

The Robin-Anthem, which was all it knew,

And rustling flowers for some third party waited

To say which pairs, if any, should get mated.

Not one of them was capable of lying,

There was not one, which knew that it was dying

Or could have with a rhythm or a rhyme

Assumed responsibility for time.

Let them leave language to their lonely betters

Who count some days and long for certain letters;

We, too, make noises when we laugh or weep:

Words are for those with promises to keep (Auden Their Lonely Betters Stanza 2-3).

Neither a robin can choose what to sing nor can the flowers choose their partners. These beings, existing entirely in natural world, neither rejoice the understanding nor grieve over the stupidity of their preferences for they do not have selections to make (Callan 220-222). Human beings in contrast, should and do select, and thus penetrate into the chronological world of liability (liability for time)

. People clearly recognise what it signifies to have pledges to make- and what it signifies to fail to fulfil them. However, people are not merely chronological beings, but also partakers in the natural world, and in that intelligence. Moreover, people as well are a fraction of the Creation.

Moreover, Auden had to fight with, and eventually to admit, the appreciation of the borders and restrictions of people’s normal physical existences. Although Auden was profoundly influenced by Kierkegaard, he progressively comprehended that a number of precious and essential things not comprehended by Kierkegaard existed.

At the sunset of his existence, Auden would inscribe that like every heretic, alert or unresponsive; Kierkegaard is a monodist who can take note of the given limit (Callan 223). A topic in the New Testament in the bible, regarding Auden, is the topic of anguish and selflessness; however, it is deaf to its affluent polyphony. Kierkegaard valued the passion of Christ whereas the Epiphany and Nativity did not.

Auden argues that whilst Kierkegaard deliberately held conscientiously orthodox principles, in his emotional response, he was a Manichean who had strong sentiments for the malevolence and degradation of the substance of people’s bodies.

In fact, in a different poem, Auden wrote that with justifiable hyperbole, an earthly visitor could study through entire huge works devoid of realising that individuals are not phantoms, but have organic structures of blood and flesh. Moreover, to have organic structures of blood and flesh is to exist in the world of requirement of nature in addition to living in the world of record, the world of existential alternative (Jacobs 35-37).

From Kierkegaard, Auden thus progressively came to consider that human beings are definitely complex beings, forever under natural regulations and nonetheless required to assume accountability for moment in time by making judgments; judgments whose unavoidable outcomes are yet a different form of obligation. According to Auden, this strange position is in particular humorous (Jacobs 38-40).

There is something fundamentally humorous concerning mixed individuality of human beings, as people attempt to work out Divine powers of judgment they at all times get their bodies in the way. A feeling of comedy builds up in a community to the extent that its inhabitants are at the same time mindful of becoming each a distinctive individual and of common subjection to irreversible regulations.

In addition, this comic feeling regarding one’s situation is in accordance with Auden’s crucial view of religious health. He might have dreamt in his formative years of delivering the world via his poetic influence or being annihilated in the attempt, but in his adulthood, he saw himself as he frequently observed, only a martyr to callus what troubled his feet and left him at ease just in carpet slippers (Jacobs 41-43).

Around 1950s the majority of the individuals who had esteemed the youthful Auden had discarded his poetry at adulthood as inconsequential. By 1948, Auden had changed his topical writing contents to include the depravity of human body.

The human body never requests for its formation or glorification, it suffers no conceptual hatred or scholarly desire, it trusts no speculations, and it is roused by inclinations that luckily are not accurately equivalent.

He devoted to the body a number of his most reflective poems, works whose intensity and girth have been undervalued since their handling of their focus was new and unanticipated in a time whose writers were reluctant to observe the body to be merely visible in its existence (Mendelson Prose, Volume II 487-488).

Since he learnt to treasure the body as consecrated, Auden learnt to consider it as the way and promise of deliverance, a way that is possibly not right. Human beings are not saved via the body, but they are saved as creatures in the flesh and saved for an opportunity of incarnation.

In this regard, Auden finally considered the principle of the rebirth of the body as an essential one and an indispensable remedial to the implied heresy and Manichaeism of his persuasion in existentialism. The poems of Auden concerning the body are frequently poems of thanksgiving and appreciation. For instance, in a poem devoted to his common senses and entitled Precious Five, he finishes by an arousing.

In a sense, this recurring stress on blessing and gratitude is a rectification of the religion that dictated the early ages of Auden in Christianity. It can be noted how significant for Auden was the declaration made by Kierkegaard that before deity people are at all times responsible for mistakes. Auden dealt with his own endless aptitude for wickedness in addition to that of the Germans (Mendelson Prose, Volume II 489-490).

It is believed that Auden trained Sunday school children in the year1942, and one time raised a question to his class inquiring whether they knew the looks of the devil. He afterward responded his own inquiry stating that the devil looked like him.

Later, he wrote of his belief in the lordship of Jesus Christ and affirmed that he considered that, Jesus accomplished none of his dreams and that Jesus was in all respect the contrary of what He could be if He would have made Auden in His own image (Jacobs 44-45).

Nevertheless, in opposition to all other teachers like Muhammad, Auden stated terrifyingly that not any of these teachers stimulated every side of his being to call out “let Him be crucified”.

Auden did not disapprove this profound belief of his wickedness at any time, but he finally appreciated that if he attempted to make his whole divinity around it he ultimately would turn out to be like Kierkegaard; that is, a monodist as well as an accidental heretic. This move sought to justify the poems of thanksgiving and appreciation.


From this research paper, it is apparent that in his entire career, Auden was both contentious and prevailing. Influenced by existentialism, Auden gave a musical tone in the attention of his readers with his opportune handling of the ethical and political matters that directly influenced human beings.

Auden became recognised as not merely a great poet but as well a Christian humanist. Influenced by existentialism, Auden clarifies what he would love to be the single type of condition in which poetry gets valid enlightenment (Jacobs 54-56).

The reason behind Christians being insensitive to Auden is that all through the existence of Auden, he was engaging in homosexuality. Following his change to Christianity, his change of sexual orientation became difficult to handle or justify.

His religious conviction doomed his sexual orientation and he consented that it was wicked. Auden completely determined to keep on sinning, as his view of homosexuality was a suffering that abode the source of possible blessings. Auden achieved discernment from Kierkegaard. For instance, Auden ascertained that indirect expressions employed by Kierkegaard were helpful.

The works of Kierkegaard that have achieved most reputation are not wholly Christian. From Kierkegaard, Auden thus increasingly came to consider that people are definitely complex beings, forever under natural regulations and nonetheless obliged to assume liability for moment in time by making judgments; judgments whose inescapable outcomes are yet a different variety of compulsion.

Works Cited

Auden, Wystan. Friday’s Child, 1945. Web.

Auden, Wystan. Their Lonely Betters, 1950. Web.

Auden, Wystan. The Shield of Achilles, 1955. Web.

Callan, Edward. “Auden and Kierkegaard: The Artistic Framework of ‘For the Time Being’.” The Christian Scholar 48.3 (1965): 211-223. Print.

Carpenter, Humphrey. W. H. Auden: A Biography. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981. Print.

Jacobs, Alan. “Auden and the Limits of Poetry.” First Things 115.1 (2001): 26-56. Print.

Kirsch, Arthur. Auden and Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. Print.

Mendelson, Edward. Prose, Volume II: 1939–1948. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. Print.

Mendelson, Edward. Prose, Volume IV: 1956–1962. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. Print.

Smith, Stan. The Cambridge Companion to W. H. Auden. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Print.

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