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WH Auden Poems | Analysis of Three Short Poems

WH Auden Poems | Analysis of Three Short Poems


Dotnepal presents an analysis of W.H. Auden’s poetry. Download a file from the given link.
 
 

Three Short Poems Lyrics

The underground roads

Are, as the dead prefer them,

Always tortuous.

 

When he looked the cave in the eye,

Hercules

Had a moment of doubt.

 

Leaning out over

The dreadful precipice,

One contemptuous tree.

Analysis of Three Short Poems | Download

 

Continuing his journey in quest of spiritual freedom through the presentation of chaos world, Auden in “Three Short Poems” expresses the human weaknesses and stupidity. The first stanza of the poem goes like this:

The underground roads

Are, as the dead prefer them,

Always tortuous.

 

It shows that the fact that having lived such a routine life the man was anonymous while alive as much as he is as a dead body. Auden by presenting the underground roads symbolizes the destruction of humans by war. He actually intends to show the roads tortuous due to the mass of dead bodies that lie in the underground roads and make the roads tortuous. The road is fully covered by the dead bodies and the road is rarely seen in some gaps. Thus, Auden also says that ‘always tortuous’. It means to say that the war is not going to be stop and it will continue till the humans do not realize the self, the cause of human suffering and the neurotic dead. The second stanza of the poem also presents the eye as a cave which is mysterious and full of terror is the symbol of victim of war.

When he looked the cave in the eye,

Hercules

Had a moment of doubt.

 

It tells us that the ‘the eye’ is compared with the cave. Comparing with the cave suggests that the eye is still in the dark future. The eye is not enlightened and it remains in the dark. The eyes are not capable of grasping the truth; they are bound to see what is there. It also suggests that the eyes are also innocent because they had a moment of doubt. The external activities of war are now known to these eyes and the moment of doubt is created by that very activities.

Leaning out over

The dreadful precipice,

One contemptuous tree.

 

The poem also says that the outer world is seen as a dreadful. The world where the humans are living is become dreadful to the same humans. It means that the whole world is transfigured into the dreadful precipice. The world becomes one of the scornful things for the humans. The humans with their corrupt and vicious attitude destroyed the innocent lives and the world itself. The earth which made the human life possible was betrayed by the same humans. The poet is in the pensive mood for the destruction of the nature.



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