Homage to Clio
in Poetry for historians
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The revisions and alterations W. H. Auden made to the poems in 'Homage to Clio' have been minutely discussed. But there is little account of what the minor changes meant. The poets appearing in 'The Encounter-Clio' (Clio II) have no bylines; the editors do not mention Auden or his poem. There are illuminating accounts of the composition of 'Homage to Clio', and its relationship to Auden's philosophy (or favourite philosophers) of history. A description of 'Iscia: 1948-57', not only clarifies but moves, in locating all the 'history' poems on the island. The author was entranced to 'Homage to Clio' by its paradoxes such as the paradox of the Muse's perfect silence: the very idea of a history that is silent; that has 'nothing to say'. Clio II is not History, or about history, or about doing history. She is about Christian time.

Poetry for historians

Or, W. H. Auden and history


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