W.H. Auden’s currency as a popular poet returned briefly after September 11, 2001, when “September 1939” found its way into many commentaries on the events of that day (including Commonweal’s). In that poem, Auden, having recently emigrated from England to the United States, looked back at “the low dishonest decade” then coming to an end in Europe, and with foreboding summoned up the Fascist horror to come. New York City-specifically a...
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