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Auden was born in York in 1907 and he was educated in Oxford. He was a prominent member of a group of young leftist writers who expressed a socially viewpoint while continuing the artistic revolution begun by earlier writers such as James Joice, Ezra Pound. After Oxford he lived for a time in Berlin. He went back to England but he continued to visit Germany regularly and he was in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He wrote Poems, The Orators, Look Stranger with Isherwood . In 1935 he married Erika Mann. In 1937 he received King George’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Auden emigrated to the United States in 1939. in 1940 he published Another Time, The Double Man, For the time being. In 1956 he was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford and he divided his later years between Oxford and Vienna where he died in 1973.

Auden was deeply pessimistic about the spiritual condition of the modern man. He is also concerned about the human indifference towards the pain of a man. He welcomed the force and vitality of the modern world. Auden’s subject was above all the present moment. In fact for Auden the past was no better than the present because the same problems had always existed. His poetry employed a wide variety of old metrical and verse forms. In fact he did not accept that the forms of the past were dead. But at the same time he refused idealising the past. There is also in the poetic of Auden the revival of tradition, in fact he thought that formal restrictions could help him for objectivity and lucidity. His language is usually simple. But beneath this apparent simplicity Auden generally constructs a complex moral and philosophical debate. He uses classical metrical forms but on the contrary the lexicon he proposes is quite modern.

Musée des Beaux Arts
It was written in 1938 and explores the world’s indifference to man’s suffering through the paintings of the old masters. The poem makes particular attention on The Fall of Icarus of Brueghel. in Brueghel’s painting Icarus who tried to fly too close to the sun is a marginal figure in an everyday scene of rural life. In fact his death in the sea is only a detail that nobody seems to notice and to care about. Here human facts are perceived in a relative way: what is important to one person is insignificant to another. Auden considers the world’s indifference to man’s pain. in “The Nativity” the old people is waiting the miraculous birth, whereas children were quite indifferent.

“Refugee Blues”: this poem is the painful cry of a German Jew. The poem proposes again one of the most Auden’s reflection: the indifference of the world to the human’s pain. In this poem the people who are suffering are 2 german Jews persecuted by the Nazis and left alone, abandoned by the human community. The two here represent obviously all the Jewish people. The last verse of each strophe is repeated and creates a sort of refrain, in fact his poems are supported by a blues rhythm. This poems describes the conditions of a couple of Jews who are unable to leave Germany because of the new political regime’ s ideas about the Jews. But these Jews are determined and attempt to react, but isn’ t enough they are sent to the concentration camps. In the seventh strophe he gives us a vivid portrait of the German people’s indifference.

“Funeral Blues”: the poet composes this poem to express his own pain, regrets and sadness in front of the death of one of his friends, and to shake the world. This poems is extremely sad and shows that the poet doesn't see much sense in the continuation of life after the death of his friend. In the first verses he exhorts the world not to be indifference in front of the human’s pain. Also this poem can be seen as a platonic love’s declaration.