Monday, April 21, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Epitaph on a Tyrant" by W. H. Auden

"Epitaph on a Tyrant" by W. H. Auden is the Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for April 21, 2014.  A link to the poem may be found here:  http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15548.

With the publication of his second collection of poems in 1930, British-born Wystan Hugh Auden (1907 - 1973) (pictured) established himself in the opinion of many as "the leading voice of a new generation."  He is generally considered to be "the greatest English poet of the twentieth century."  He moved to the United States in 1939 and eventually became an American citizen.  He was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1954 until his death in 1973.  Reference to this and additional biographical information may be found here:  http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/120.

"Epitaph on a Tyrant" is organized in six lines with four feet per line and a rhyme scheme of abbcac.  The message of the poem is both profound and simple.  It is applicable to any tyrant--from Alexander to Kim Jong Un to Barack O'bama.

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