Sunday, April 5, 2009

Free Verse


The Unknown Citizen by W. H. Auden



He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a
saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his
generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their
education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.




“The Unknown Citizen” is about a solider who was found dead and not identified. His tomb is memorialized as a representation of all of the dead citizens who were/are not identified when they die. The poem describes the typical working class hero, “He worked in a factory and never got fired.” He was a completely normal and respectable person. The swift in the poem comes in the last two lines:Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.By saying this Auden implies that freedom and happiness, two core American values, are irrelevant. This adds irony to the entire poem. Auden is saying that a man can be a “saint” by societal standards and not necessarily be happy or free because of our society. We are not free because of the constraints and responsibilities of society. His happiness is also irrelevant. This poem questions American values as well as the American lifestyle.

38 comments:

草莓花園 said...

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.............................................

早餐 said...

每個人生命中都可能遇到貴人,這些貴人不一定真的尊貴,他可能是陌生人,也可能是你的敵人。........................................

哲宇 said...

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于名于倫 said...

籃子打水空費力,經驗必需靈活用。......................................................

少菁 said...

I do like ur article~!!!...................................................

茂恒 said...

GOOD........................................

柏信豪俐 said...

讓好心情回味發酵;壞心情留在文字裡隨時間消逝吧!........................................

李0825juanherzberg said...

Use a book as a bee does flowers.......................................................

chen said...

很棒的分享~如有打擾之處,敬請原諒!.............................................

怡JanellSyverson0326 said...

量力而為,別勉強了,Cut your coat according to your cloth..............................................

怡君 said...

很棒的分享~~~來留個言囉~~~~........................................

MickiRueda said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債..................................................

宥妃 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................

rlkris said...

自然是上帝最偉大的神來之筆。 ............................................................

政倫政倫 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest...................................................................

育淑 said...

能猜得出女人真實年齡的男人也許耳聰目明,但肯定毫無大腦。哈哈!..................................................................

江婷 said...

良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。....................................................................

貞合 said...

Quality is better than quantity.................................................................

郁雯郁雯 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

吳婷婷 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

路過--你好嗎..很棒的BLOG...................................................................

幸雨幸雨 said...

第一次來這裡 愛上你的部落格 感謝你的分享............................................................

玉苓玉苓 said...

時間可證明一切~你的BLOG是我覺得不賴的..................................................................

國昆 said...

感謝不吝分享您的心得............................................................

李宗蓮李宗蓮 said...

may the blessing be always with you!!..................................................................

雅俊芬凱陳許 said...

Never hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another..................................................................

洪瑋婷洪瑋婷 said...

天下沒有意把鑰匙,可以打開所有的門............................................................

琬安琬安 said...

first catch your hare, then cook him. ..................................................

林旻貞林旻貞 said...

Learning makes a good man better and ill man worse.............................................................

韋陳富 said...

道歉是人類一定必要的禮節..................................................

吳沛黃以富民 said...

世界上沒有本來就應該的事,因為老天爺也沒有劇本.......................................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

從人生中拿走友誼,猶如從生活中移走陽光......................................................................

黃智樺黃智樺 said...

吾錯吾錯...我平時都好鐘意用呢d~而家學多好多~thx+0+............................................................

麗王王珠 said...

謝謝大大的分享 我會學會反省與寬容 感恩 ∩△∩............................................................

牧宇 said...

老天爺賦予了強者的能力,就是要他比弱者多擔待..................................................

于庭吳 said...

您的blog蠻不錯的耶,祝你快樂哦!期待您的更新!............................................................

士文婷文婷松 said...

好看耶~一定每天有空給你支持..................................................

黃英吳思潔吳思潔邦 said...

我是天山,等待一輪明月。......................................................................