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The Age of AudenPostwar Poetry and the American Scene$
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Aidan Wasley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691136790

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691136790.001.0001

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The Old Sources

The Old Sources

Rich, Auden, and Making Something Happen

(p.145) 4 The Old Sources
The Age of Auden

Aidan Wasley

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Auden's influence on Adrienne Rich. It argues that from her early emulation through her mature repudiation of his example, Auden's place in Rich's work and thought has persisted. As both an individual influence and as a representative of an entire range of poetic concerns which she has inherited and adapted, Auden comes to stand for poetic tradition itself—the tradition that gave her birth, and through and against which she has striven to define herself. For Rich, Auden sets the poetic terms—not always positively—out of which she constructs her own poetic identity. Like poetry itself, the figure of Auden and what he represents have been, throughout her career, ineluctable.

Keywords:   Adrienne Rich, women poets, W. H. Auden, American poets, American poetry

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