Books: The Muse in Middle Age

ABOUT THE HOUSE by W. H. Auden. 84 pages. Random House. $3.

He has the head of an old lion and in a high rolling roar he makes some of the most spectacular conversation of the century. At 58, Wystan Hugh Auden is the only man left in the English-writing world who can be called a major poet, but unhappily he has fallen on lean years; for more than a decade his verse has lacked verve. In About the House, no sudden reanimation of the muse is evident; yet in these pages the poet attempts...

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