London: Fuck Books, 1967
[Rare] (XX) Bc [Auden, W.H.]
Never officially published or accepted into the Auden canon, A Gobble Poem was first printed in pirated form in 1965 as the Platonic Blow, by Ed Sanders’ underground press, Fuck You. The edition on display is the 1967 UK printing. The title page of A Gobble Poem states in an elusive manner that it was “snatched from the notebooks of WH Auden and now believed to be in the Morgan Library” despite the Morgan Library disputing this assertion.
Auden only once alluded publically to the possibility of this poem’s existence, in an interview for the Telegraph magazine on August 9th 1968. Perhaps encouraged by the poem’s relatively recent counter-cultural appearance, Auden “uneasily … mentions that some time ago he wrote a piece of pornography to amuse a few friends”.
Whilst the poem’s publishing history is ambiguous its content is anything but; it is a clear expression of the poet’s desire of, and pleasure in, the act of fellatio.