W H Auden

O what am I buying?
O what am I buying, said buyer to plier,
Is this fellow English, or is he a Yank?
Does he write masterpieces, or just turn the handle
And laugh in his sleeve all the way to the bank?

O where is the meaning, said loser to poseur,
I find it unclear, could you give me a hand?
The critics all say that it's really important
But poor little me, I just don't understand.

O why are you writing, said warden to Auden,
Your poems are bouncy but what do they mean?
There's more to great art than an infectious rhythm
There are people who like it, but I'm not that keen.

You'd better beware, said plier to buyer.
It's inside yourself, said poseur to loser.
You read it, though, said Auden to warden.
As he left them there, as he left them there.

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-73) was born in York, educated at Oxford, and subsequently became an American citizen, although he lived for many years in Italy and Austria. This parody is based on his poem O where are you going? I especially like his Sonnets from China.

Back to Parodies home page. 

Bob Newman 2004. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 26/11/2004