Its subject is the Jews who in 1939 had to flee from Germany to the U.S. and other European country, because of Nazi persecution.
Auden uses the blues tradition, which developed among the black people of the United States and has its origins in slave songs. Though composed under improvisation, the blues has a rigid pattern concerning the use of repetitions and a simple rhyme scheme.
The poem is divided into tercet whose first two lines rhyme while the third present a repetition.
Through the whole song there is a refrain as the author always repeat the words "My dear".
Almost every stanza starts with a verb and this device helps to convey in the text the idea of improvisation and common speech.
The structure of the text is carried on through the use of contrasting images: the mansions and the holes, expressing the gap between normal rich people and Jews, the Jews' condition, hanging between legal death and biological death, the treatment of the Jews, who can't partecipate anymore to social life.
The language used is common, colloquial, informal, while the tone is sad, resigned and melanchonic.
.The hypotetical speaker, a German Jew, is concerned about Jews' conditions, reguarding in particular homeless people, burocracy, social differences and emargination.
There's an analogy of the Jews with all suffering and persecuted races in history, though here there are no cotton fields or whips, but rather passports, committees and public meetings
Those make the song no less ominous. Death is present throughout and the poem ends with the image of the soldiers looking for the Jews. At the moment when the poem was written, in 1939, this was becoming a common situation in Europe.
Comparison of poems 'Refugee Blues' and 'You Will Be Hearing from Us Shortly' The poem 'Refugee Blues' is written by W.H. Auden, an Anglo-American poet. 'You Will Be Hearing from Us Shortly' is written by U.A. Fanthorpe. Both the poems discuss about the prejudice and discrimination through the use of tone and language. W.H.Auden particularly deals with topics about moral and political issues. 'Refugee Blues' deals with the abuse of human rights experienced not only by the German Jews, but by other Jews and refugees anywhere. It is a moving poem on war, its consequences and also on discrimination. The poem 'You Will Be Hearing from Us Shortly' conjures up an image of a malign interviewer looking down in disgust at the unfortunate interviewee. It is also an address to someone, exemplified by the use of the second person pronoun 'You'. ‘The treatment of civilians and soldiers in time of war.'
These two poems show the lives of both soldiers and civilians during war. The first poem, ‘Refugee Blues', is mainly based on the civilians' point of view in the war while the second poem, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est.', is mainly based on the soldiers' point of view in the war.
‘REFUGEE BLUES' by W.H.Auden
During the time of war, we learn that some civilians are treated as outcasts. ‘Say this city has ten million souls…yet there is no place for us, my dear, yet there is no place for us.' From this statement, we are led to believe that the two refugees in this poem had been rejected by all the people in that city and probably rejected by all the people in that country. The effect of the repetition of the words ‘yet there is no place for us' is that the statement is more emotive than it would have been without the repetition. We are filled with sympathy for the two refugees when the author uses the words ‘my dear' in the sentence as it is brought to our realization that the two have strong feelings for each other. This could, however, be a good thing since they could comfort each other.
Jews were chased away from their homes and were not allowed to go back. ‘We cannot go there now my dear.' This shows that they had a place they used to stay once but are no