W. H. Auden Quotes

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.

Civilizations should be measured by the degree of diversity attained and the degree of unity retained.

We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die.

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.

Great art is clear thinking about mixed feelings.

But once in a while the odd thing happens
Once in a while the dream comes true
And the whole pattern of life is altered
Once in a while, the moon turns blue

No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.

If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving be me.

Nobody is ever sent to Hell: he or she insists on going there.

A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.

The most important truths are likely to be those which society at that time least wants to hear.

Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.

Without communication with the dead, a fully human life is not possible.

Good can imagine Evil; but Evil cannot imagine Good.

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.

Those who hate to go to bed fear death; those who hate to get up fear life.

Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.

In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.

To be happy means to be free, not from pain or fear, but from care or anxiety.

I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return.

My deepest feeling about politicians is that they are dangerous lunatics to be avoided when possible and carefully humored; people, above all, to whom one must never tell the truth.

Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts.

A poet is a professional maker of verbal objects.

Let all your thinks be thanks.