THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES by W. H. Auden

THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The publication of a new book of verse by the poet Auden is always an event, an artistic event, even if the final effect is funereal. For Auden is the master-mortician of our age, and the obsequies so elegantly and expertly delivered are nevertheless this time of a particularly mournful character. Whether in the first section of nature poems called Bucolics, or the second entitled In Sunshine and In Shade, or in the third- the most expert and amusing- Horae Canonicae-which consists of dazzling pieces of verse virtuosity, Auden's rapier satire is in full play. The title poem which appears in the second section is a lament for the ignobility of modern warfare in contrast to the ancient art. And for the future, one wonders where is Auden- still burying, burying burying- intoning ""the right song for the wrong time of year"". Yet, even if the whole world is out of step, this is the work of a very fine talent which many modern readers follow and may also enjoy.

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 1955
Publisher: Random House