Controversial and influential, W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973) is considered by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A prolific writer, Auden published some 30 books of prose, poetry and essays, and numerous film scripts and opera libretti, that often focused on moral, political, and religious issues, and our relationship with nature, mixing conventional technique with his own unique style.
One of Auden's most popular poems is "Night Mail," which he wrote specifically for the iconic 22-minute documentary film of the same name in 1935 about an LMS mail train from London to Scotland. The film, produced by the General Post Office Film Unit in 1936, combines original music by Benjamin Britten and Auden's poetry that, in the last 4 minutes, mimics the rhythm and clatter of the train to drive the poem and the film to an exciting and breathless conclusion.
With this in mind, let's hit the pause button on our lives for a few minutes and take a ride on the Night Mail train by W. H. Auden.
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