Auden was born in York in 1907 and he was educated in Oxford. He was a prominent member of a group of young leftist writers who expressed a socially viewpoint while continuing the artistic revolution begun by earlier writers such as James Joice, Ezra Pound.
After Oxford he lived for a time in Berlin. He went back to England but he continued to visit Germany regularly and he was in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He wrote Poems, The Orators, Look Stranger with Isherwood . In 1935 he married Erika Mann. In 1937 he received King George’s Gold Medal for Poetry.
But at the same time he refused idealising the past. There is also in the poetic of Auden the revival of tradition, in fact he thought that formal restrictions could help him for objectivity and lucidity. His language is usually simple. But beneath this apparent simplicity Auden generally constructs a complex moral and philosophical debate. He uses classical metrical forms but on the contrary the lexicon he proposes is quite modern.