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W. H. Auden quotes

Art is born of humiliation.

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain.

Learn from your dreams what you lack.

May it not be that, just as we have to have faith in Him, God has to have faith in us and, considering the history of the human race so far, may it not be that 'faith' is even more difficult for Him than it is for us?

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know.

'Healing,' Papa would tell me, 'is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.'

In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.

It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.

To save your world you asked this man to die; would this man, could he see you now, ask why?

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.

When I am in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes.

Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.

A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.

Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.

I don't get acting jobs because of my looks.

It's a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.

When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a room full of dukes.

All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him.