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Auden and Christianity$
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Arthur Kirsch

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108149

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108149.001.0001

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Later Years

Later Years

(p.141) Chapter Five Later Years
Auden and Christianity

Arthur Kirsch

Yale University Press

This chapter describes Auden's work in the later years of his life, which is characterized by an increasing acceptance of himself, and a corresponding religious sense of gratitude. In his poems, with a few notable exceptions, he writes more genially of his body, attends lovingly to the domestic circumstances of his daily life, and is disposed to write uncomplicated devotional verse. He becomes increasingly interested in forgiveness, thankfulness, and prayer. Auden's late phase is anticipated in an earlier work, “In Praise of Limestone,” perhaps the most moving poem in his canon. In one of his later collections of poetry, About the House, Auden offers thanksgiving for his habitat and celebrates the spiritual as well as physical comfort of individual rooms of his house. “In Praise of Limestone,” written in 1948, celebrates his home in nature, the limestone uplands of the Pennines in which he grew up as a boy.

Keywords:   acceptance, gratitude, daily life, devotional verse, limestone uplands, Pennines

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