Auden, W. H.
W. H. Auden (1907-1973) was a prolific poet deeply concerned with religious as well as social issues. He spent his time writing and teaching principally in the United States and his native England, receiving the King's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1937 and the Pulitzer Prize in 1948. His poem "The Unknown Citizen," written in the form of a dedication for a public monument, celebrates a life that "had everything necessary to the Modern Man"—except, apparently, a name. What does it mean to be a good citizen? Must we serve the greater community to be a good member of society? Auden's poem challenges us to think about these questions and reflect on our own definitions of normality, freedom, happiness, and citizenship.
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Collected Poetry by W.H. Auden (Random House, 1945), pages 142-143.
Connection and RelationshipCrisis and ConflictDiversity and DifferenceIdentity and CommunityLeadership and ResponsibilityMotives and ValuesOrganizing and ActivismRoles and BoundariesSpeech and ExpressionWork and Vocation
What makes it possible for us to connect to others? What gets in the way?What is the value of disagreement and opposition? How should they be expressed?What is the “status quo”? Does it need to be changed?What role do I play in my organization? Who determines this role?What does it mean to have a voice?