Quotes by W.H. Auden

  • I think the first prerequisite to civilisation is an ability to make polite conversation.


    Civilisation, Conversation, Manners

  • In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.


    Demonstrations, Happiness, Joy

  • Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.


    Friendship, Humour, Laughter

  • My face looks like a wedding cake left out in the rain.


    Appearance

  • Between friends, differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.


    Anger, Annoyance, Irritation

  • When two people today engage in an argument, each tends to spend half his time and energy not in producing evidence to support his view, but in looking for the hidden motives which are causing his opponent to hold his.


    Argument

  • Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.


    Water

  • When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes.


    Science

  • A professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.


    Professor

  • Poetry is the only art people have not yet learned to consume like soup.


    Poetry

  • Some books are undeservedly forgotten, no book is undeservedly remembered.


    Books

  • Irreverence is a greater oaf than superstition.


    Irreverence

  • Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.


    Humour

  • We are here on Earth to do good to others. What others are for, I don’t know.


    Humanity, Mankind