Auden And Love

Essay by MaddyezHigh School, 12th grade November 2014

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English writing




How does Auden treat the theme of love in his poems?

With 'The More Loving One' and 'Funeral Blues'

W. H. Auden was famous for his ability to create poems in nearly every imaginable verse form; his incorporation of popular culture, current events, and vernacular speech in his work; and also for the vast range of his intellect, which drew easily from an extraordinary variety of literatures, art forms, social and political theories, and scientific and technical information. In most of his poems, you will find the forever-reoccurring theme of love.

In the first stanza of The more loving one, he describes the cosmos as a cold, heartless place, "for all they care, I can go to hell". However, in next stanza, he expresses the importance of love, and that if affection was not equal, his wish is to be the one that loves the most, "if equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me."

These lines are probably one the most appreciated and known lines of Auden, where he tells us, that if their love for "each other" is not equal, he wishes to be "the more loving one". The speaker here expresses that even though the cosmos, that can here symbolize the world in which we live, is a harsh and cold place, the love that humans have for each other makes it livable. It can otherwise symbolize humanity, which is also, in itself, brutal and cold to everything around it, the love that one has for another, makes it worth living. In the next stanza, once again, he talks about the stars, and how if they were "to burn with a passion for us we could not return?", how would we like it? The stars serve as...