Anthology B Poetry Coursework analytical essay of the poems ‘Refugee Blues’ and ‘Disabled’ Name: Ga Yoon Lee Teacher: Mrs Henderson Word count: The poems ‘Refugee Blues’ by W.H Auden and ‘Disabled’ by Wilfred Owen both explore the theme of alienation to portray the brutal persecution of the victims of war. W.H Auden conveys the emotions of guilt from the perspective of a refugee, while Wilfred Owen expresses the isolation of a disabled soldier after the war. The theme of loneliness is successfully portrayed in both poems through the structure, literary techniques and emotive language including a powerful choice of diction. Both poems share the same subject of alienation aggravated by the brutality of the war. ‘Refugee blues’ is a narrative poem which creates a feeling of a refugee telling a story to the readers.
Compare how human suffering is presented in “The Manhunt” by Simon Armitage and “War Photographer” by Carol Anne Duffy. A clear example of human suffering presented in both “The Manhunt” and “War Photographer” is through the fact that war is presented as something it isn’t. In War photographer the structure of the poem being four stanzas with 6 lines each and ABBCDD rhyming scheme present order and structure which contrasts to the chaos that war is which is the theme of the poem. This contrast is continuous in the poem with adjectives such as “red” and “cries” both connotations of some sort of negativity being partnered with positive adjectives such as “soft” also create this contrast through a juxtaposition. Similar is done in “the manhunt” with its structure in rhyming doublets and the pain and war that is presented continuously in the poem through images of gunfires and war in “first phase” and “blown hinge”.
In both poems, structure is a fundamental contribution to the messages that they convey, and it forms a very major part of how the reader interprets them, and the techniques used add empathy and make their characters appear more pitiful and victimized. Personally, I think ‘Disabled’ conveys a more powerful message as it is written in a more sombre, bleak manner and therefore evokes a more emotional response from the reader, yet the poem I prefer is ‘Refugee Blues’, because it is written in first person, and this makes me feel more connected with the narrator, and so I feel more impacted by the message of the
This line speaks of a field littered with dead and wounded soldiers and instead of discussing the natural responses to such a sight—grief or sorrow—the narrator steamrolls the reader asks for one to wipe their tears and remember that war is simply kind. It’s almost as if the writer is capitalizing off the notion that being constantly surrounded by destruction and chaos can cause people to become desensitized to the real ramifications of war. Therefore, this poem purposefully draws on that by highlighting a plethora of things that should invoke reactions but then paints the events in ways that invoke peace and calm instead—polar opposites of emotions usually associated with
I feel like ‘Refugee Blues’ portrays the struggles with identity that people experience when they try to move somewhere else while ‘An Unknown Girl’ portrays the struggles with identity people experience after they move there. In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity- Erika
To conclude the poem “War is Kind” By Stephen Crane includes three universal themes commonly seen in many examples of civil war literature. The themes of warfare, war on the home front, and patriotism occur in the poem as well as many other pieces of civil war literature. The overall theme of the poem is how war is cruel and unkind making the poem seem like mockery to those who believe war is
In the poem Refugee Blues Auden creates sympathy for the refugee experience using a variety of techniques and exploring different themes. Auden blames society for the refugees current situation, this can be seen in the quotation “ ‘if we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’: he was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.” This portrays society as very un-Christian. The quotation “they will steal our daily bread” shows them as uncaring and acting outside the Christian faith by accusing the refugees of being thieves and stealing their daily bread. Also the phrasing “he was talking of you and me” shows how society is talking about the refugees but not to them and excluding them from their conversations. Also Auden
The anti-war war poems oppose the marginalised view that soldiers turn from innocence to heartless killers, whereas majority of the soldiers were genuine, soft soldiers made to do their jobs. The first poem in which I have brought to this ceremony foreground’s this ideology. It is called “Attack” by Siegfried Sassoon. Siegfried Sassoon was an English poet, writer, and soldier. Highly awarded for his bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the most well-known poets of the First World War.
W.H Auden presents helplessness of the Jewish people in ‘Refugee Blues’ which is set in 1930s Germany when the Jewish people were being persecuted by the Nazi. It is about the terrible plight of being a Jew in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a refugee, the couple have lost their home, their country and their identity and no one is willing to help them as they have ‘old passports’. The melancholy feeling comes through strongly in the blues- a sad song. Auden uses foreshadow, imagery and juxtaposition to convey the helplessness of the Jewish people in the poem.
However, they were only supported for a temporary period, eventually they are abandoned to their own fate. This is ironic because this was the only time that the narrator was given an opportunity, but it was like they pretended to give him light, then snatched it away right when he gathers his confidence and spirit. Hereafter, the narrator and his partner are standing at the same helpless place again. Metaphor Auden repeatedly uses metaphors in ‘Refugee Blues’ to portray the mixed emotions the narrator’s mind. In stanza seven ‘thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky’, Auden uses this as a metaphor to refer to Hitler’s overpowering voice across Europe.