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Auden on Addiction

Auden on Addiction

“All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.”


– W. H. Auden

Auden, the great English poet who spent part of his twenties in the United States, was 28 when Alcoholics Anonymous, the organization dedicated to helping people break drinking addiction and achieve sobriety, was founded on this date in 1935.

Five years later, Auden wrote a poetic eulogy to the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. The poem ends with a nod to the curious human tendency to submit to impulse:

One rational voice is dumb. Over his grave

the household of Impulse mourns one dearly loved:

sad is Eros, builder of cities,

and weeping anarchic Aphrodite.






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