One book I've been wanting to read for some time is Sherill Tippins's February House, which bears the subtitle "The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Paul and Jane Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America." Can you imagine! The New Yorker said, "Tippins’s book is a cozy, gossipy read, punctuated by solid, if perfunctory, literary criticism."
Talking about February House brings to mind the Auden poem "September 1, 1939," which was quoted often around the time of 9/11/01; thanks to the Academy of American Poets, you can read it online. It begins,
I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
The house that Auden and the rest of the group lived in was in Brooklyn Heights. As a young man, my grandfather lived in a boarding house in Brooklyn for two years, which his family always said gave him enough stories for the next sixty-five. I look forward to catching up with February House in the near future.
Next week I will lasso all the Poetry Friday posts right here at Rancho Chicken Spaghetti.