BU Today

Arts & Entertainment

September 1, 1939

The Favorite Poem Project: Zachary Bos reads W. H. Auden

Click above to hear Zachary Bos read W.H. Auden's poem. Photos by Kalman Zabarsky

Zachary Bos, administrative coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum

“September 1, 1939” by W. H. Auden

“It is a poem that is beautiful, lyrically well-constructed, and that Auden, in his later life, absolutely disdained. I’m delighted by the fact that an artist can scorn his own work and be utterly wrong and yet still capable of creating something beautiful.”

“By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of English and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud makes one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Throughout the semester, BU Today features a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for
BU Today, e-mail us at today@bu.edu.