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Friday, 22 May 2009

Auden Does Lenin

A researcher in the BFI archives has uncovered a few poems by WH Auden previously unseen for over 70 years, which is exciting news; less so only when one realises they are translations of "anonymous" Russian songs written in praise of Lenin, for a Stalinist propaganda machine. As an insight into Auden's 30s styles and affiliations, it is fun, even informative. There seems to be little of great poetic value in the new work, though. We knew Auden had Communist sympathies, and we knew he wrote work for film. This isn't news, so much as new grist for the mill.
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