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By Walton Litz

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These others, saxophones whining through the wooden doors of their less than gracious homes. The poor have become our creators. The black. . Not yet able to incorporate flexible musical stylings into the contained print of his verse, Jones presented the old, fixed tradition as a parody of the very ideas and attitudes it embodies: . . the proper placement of verbs and nouns. To freeze the spit in mid-air, as it aims itself at some valiant intellectual's face. 36 I AMERICAN This defiant frustration is evident in a number of poems in The Dead Lecturer.

New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (in press). Duchene, Francois. The Case of the Helmeted Airman: A Study of W. H. Auden s Poetry. London: Chatto and Windus, 1972. Fuller, John L. A Reader's Guide to W. H. Auden. London: Thames and Hudson, 1970. Greenberg, Herbert M. Quest for the Necessary: W. H. Auden and the Dilemma of Divided Consciousness. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968. 28 I AMERICAN WRITERS Hynes, Samuel L. The Auden Generation. New York: Viking, 1977. Johnson, Richard. Mans Place: An Essay on Auden.

Horae Canonicae is one of the great masterpieces of twentieth-century poetry. It has received little critical attention because it demands to be read in ways very different from those appropriate to the modernist tradition from Yeats to Wallace Stevens. Its concern is not the imposition of imaginative order on a passive world but the discovery of order that 22 / AMERICAN WRITERS already exists in the world. In its disturbing emphasis on the price that must be paid for civilization, on the murderous violence that defends civil order, it is in the direct line of Vergil's Aeneid and Shakespeare's history plays.

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