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Musée des Beaux Arts

Musée des Beaux Arts

by W.H. Auden

Analysis: Calling Card

Plain-speakin'

W.H. Auden is a master of form. You could think of him as a chameleon: just when you're ready to pin him as a formal poet, one who's careful to respect traditional rhyme and meter, he breaks out something like "Musée des Beaux Arts," which has no rhyme or metrical pattern to speak of. What it does have, though, is simple, precise language. Nothing to get too upset about. Nothing to twist the tongue or boggle the mind. Nice, neat, simple language. What makes it so amazing is that he's able to craft a masterpiece with the mildest of tools.

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