Refugee blues In this poem, the author have used a ballad form. This poem is lyrical which means it is a lyrics to a song. The poem have two rhyming lines of each stanza with the third line which got repetition and this develops the theme. The title ‘refugee blues’ holds an emotional intensity, shows the critical of society which the people who doesn’t belong to that country. In the first stanza, the word ‘souls’ shows that it is something holy and valuable and they should be treated all the same like everyone else. The word ‘my dear’ shows that they are married.
However, we don’t know whether the wife or the husband is talking. In the third stanza, the sentence ‘ in the village churchyard these grows an old yew’ contrasts with the sentence ‘old passports cant do that, my dear, old passports cant do that’ as the tree could go through the nature’s cycle while once the passport is lost, it can never be recovered. In the forth stanza, the sentence ‘if you’ve got no passport you’re officially dead’ shows fear, humiliation and threat. In the sixth stanza, the sentence ‘if we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’ the word daily bread allusions to the prayer ‘Our Father’ .
The sentence ‘he was talking to me , my dear’ shows intimate and close. Meanwhile, in the ninth and tenth stanza, the refugee highlights the ridiculous of the situation that they are in by contrasting it with the freedom of the fish swimming in the ocean and the birds singing in the trees. ‘they had no politicians’ and ‘they weren’t the human race’ This poem is a good example of the role poets and their works can play in social change. Auden not only makes readers aware of the refugee plight, but also requires us empathize with understandings.