बा सी मर्ढेकरांवर (१९०९-१९५६) ज्यांचा समर्थ रामदासांइतका प्रभाव होता, ज्यांच्या न्यूयॉर्क मधील एका भेटीवरती विलास सारंगांनी अधुनिक मराठीतील एक सर्वोत्कृष्ट निबंध लिहला, त्या डब्ल्यू एच ऑडेन (१९०७-१९७३) यांची आज फेब्रुवारी २१ २०१८ रोजी १११वी जयंती आहे.
ऑडेन यांच्या बाबतची, माझ्या डोळ्यात अक्षरशः पाणी आणणारी, वाक्य मागच्या वर्षी LRB मधील एका लेखात वाचली:
Mark Ford: "...I think there’s a humility in Auden which is one of the most striking characteristics, and unusual characteristics, of a great poet, that often great poets have a kind of hard self-belief or egocentrism which survives all their various kind of … the trajectory of their careers, and the ways in which their thoughts or idioms develop. But Auden, from beginning to end, despite the kind of seemingly prophetic or didactic or like a preacher-man aspect of his poetry, there is a kind of humility in it. And when I was re-reading his poetry in preparation for this, I just found myself weeping at that particular aspect of Auden – not just the beauty of the poetry, particularly the early poetry, I just found it overwhelming … Paid on Both Sides, Poems (1930) – I just found them just so moving to read. But I also felt that there was a humility in his concept of poetry which was very distinctive and very powerful...."
"...Yes, and Alan Bennett captures that very beautifully, I think, in his piece in the LRB in 1985, so perhaps we should end with what Bennett says. Bennett’s saying how happily Auden lacked a lot of characteristics that are usually associated with the masculine, and Bennett says, ‘He didn’t care much for fame, for instance, or go in for self-advertisement, was careless about his reputation and was unmoved by criticism.’..."
('Auden Anxieties', LRB, August 2017)