The Howard Center

The Poetic Truth About Homosexuality:
Since the scandal surrounding British poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, homosexuality has claimed no literary figure more prominent than the 20th-century Anglo-American poet W. H. Auden (1907-1973). However, after considerable personal experience, Auden delivered a remarkably negative judgment on this kind of sexual activity.
According to a newly published critical study, Auden made decidedly negative comments about homosexuality during a 1947 conversation with Alan Ansen: 'I've come to the conclusion that it's wrong to be queer, but that's a long story. Oh, the reasons are comparatively simple. In the first place, all homosexual acts are acts of envy. In the second, the more you're involved with someone, the more trouble arises, and affection shouldn't result in that. It shows something's wrong somewhere.'
Nor did Auden's perspective on homosexuality grow more favorable in the years that followed. In 1969, just four years before his death, Auden wrote candidly, 'Few, if any, homosexuals can honestly boast that their sex-life has been happy.'
(Source: Arthur Kirsch, Auden and Christianity [New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005], 172-173.)

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