Redeeming the Time: The Theological Argument of Auden's for the Time Being (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Redeeming the Time: The Theological Argument of Auden's for the Time Being

For the Time Being, subtitled A Christmas Oratorio, offers the most explicit poetic statement of W. H. Auden's religious position. Monroe K. Spears writes in The Poetry of W. H. Auden (new York, 1963) The piece is the fullest and most balanced expression of Auden's religious attitudes; the ideas and dominant images that have been seen partially and transitionally in other poems here may be seen in their final place as part of an order-cd whole (p. Auden, who among modern poets has repeatedly looked to present-day ideologies for intellectual thought patterns with which to build his verse, wrote For the Time Being in the early forties at a time when he was turning from his previous. Reliance upon secular Freudian and Marxist categories to the use of Christian themes in the making of his poetry. Drawing upon Auden's prose essays (and in particular those written during the forties when For the Time Being was taking its final form) the present study will provide the theo logical frame of reference necessary for an understanding of the poem at the level Of its ideas. NO systematic study of its theological themes has yet been made. Monroe K. Spears, who devotes a portion of a chapter to Auden's poem in the book just cited, discusses the theological implica tions of the piece in what he calls a running interpretative commentary, but attempts no systematic study Of the poem's theological ideas. My essay was originally written in 1961 at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, but has been considerably revised in its present form. In order to facilitate reference to the various printed versions in which For the Time Being is currently available, references to the text of the poem will appear parenthetically by section title, Roman subdivision, and line num ber («the one exception to this manner of notation will be the references to the section entitled The Meditation of Simeon, which will be cited by prose paragraph number). For currently available editions of the poem, see, in addition to Auden's Collected Poetry (new York, Marvin Halverson Religious Drama 1 (new York, 1957) and Mack, Dean, and Frost (eds), Modern Poetry (new York.

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Details

Publisher - Forgotten Books

Language - English

Author(s) - Potter Woodbery

Hardback

Published Date - August 25 2019

ISBN - 9780364394168

Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 0.6 cm

Page Count - 54

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