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Another Time

Look, Stranger!

auden ‘the poems volume

a collection of poetry by W. H. Auden, published in 1940, his first after his move to New York in January 1939. In addition to work produced in England subsequent to Look, Stranger! (1936), the volume contained numerous well-known poems written after his arrival in the USA, among them ‘In Memory of W. B. Yeats’, ‘In Memory of Sigmund Freud’, ‘The Prophets’, and ‘The Unknown Citizen’. The tonal, emotional, and imaginative range of the collection is considerable, reflecting the extensive revisions in Auden's thinking that took place in the late 1930s: the chilling ballads of 1937 (‘As I Walked out One Morning’, ‘Miss Gee’, among others), products of the failure of his political optimism, contrast radically with the warmly affirmative tone of the philosophical love poems, including ‘Warm and Still Are the Lucky Miles’, ‘Heavy Date’, and ‘Law Like Love’, written in 1939; the Christian existentialist position he had adopted after arriving in the USA is apparent in the clarity and confidence of statement exemplified by ‘The Hidden Law’ and ‘Another Time’. The technical compass of the book is also remarkable; the new degree of freedom and flexibility evident in the poised conversational manner typified by ‘Like a Vocation’ (May 1939) co-exists with the virtuosity in the use of strict rhyming forms that is most apparent in ‘The Riddle’ (June 1939). The presence of ‘Spain, 1937’ and ‘September 1, 1939’, two celebrated poems Auden later discarded, adds to the extraordinary scope and richness of the book, which constitutes the most significantly transitional volume of Auden's career.

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