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English Poem After Apple Picking (Robert Frost) Important Questions English Poem After Apple Picking (By Robert Frost) Summary & Introduction

English Poem Say this city has ten Million Souls by W. H. Auden)Reference Context Explanation

 

 

English Poem Say this city has ten Million Souls by W. H. Auden)Reference Context Explanation

Poem:

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.
 
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.
 
In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.
 
The consul banged the table and said:
‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.
 
Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?
 
Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.
 
Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying: ‘They must die’;
We were in his mind, my dear, we were in his mind.
 
Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren’t German Jews, my dear, but they weren’t German Jews.
 
Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.
 
Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.
 
Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.
 
Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

Reference, Context and Explanation:

Lines 1-4: Say this city … for us.

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

Although this city of New York has a large population of rich as well as poor people, yet there is no place for the immigrants. Rich people of the city live in high and luxurious buildings whereas the poor people live in slums. But the immigrants have no shelter at all.

Lines 5-8: Once we had … there now.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

Before migrating to the U.S.A., the German Jews had a native land of their own, i.e., Germany. But they have left the place and cannot return for the fear of Hitler. That was a beautiful country but it is not present for them now in-spite of being physically present.

Lines 9-12: In the village … do that.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

Even the yew trees (a symbol of grief) blossom during every spring season although they grow in graveyards where people lie dead and buried in their graves. But the passports of the immigrants cannot be renewed when expired. So much people have to face numberless difficulties but nobody realizes their difficulties.

Lines 13-16: The consul banged … still alive.

The consul banged the table and said:
‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

The immigrants went to the consul for solution of their problems. The consul said that first they should prove their identity and then they could register their problems. But the poor fellows did not have any passports, so they couldn’t prove their identity. They were, therefore, like dead persons and were treated as such by the consul.

Lines 17-20: Went to a committee … go today?

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

The immigrant went before a committee for the solution of their problems. The members of the committee asked them to return next year. But the question remained as to what they will do in the meantime.
 

Lines 21-24: Came to a … you and me.

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

The immigrant went to a public meeting. They thought that their problems might be solved by political leaders. But there they heard a leader speak against them. He was saying that if they would allow the immigrants to settle there, the immigrants would steal their bread.

Lines 25-28: Thought I heard … in his mind.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying: ‘They must die’;
We were in his mind, my dear, we were in his mind.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

The immigrant Jews could not return to Germany as Hitler still ruled there and he had announced that all the Jews of Germany must be killed and Germany purified of the Jews. Hitler talked in a very bombastic way.

Lines 29-32: Saw a poodle … German Jews.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren’t German Jews, my dear, but they weren’t German Jews.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

An immigrant saw a dog in a goodly dress and a cat going into comfortable house. But these animals were welcomed by the Americans in their homes whereas the German Jews were not welcomed (although they deserved a better treatment as they were, after-all, human beings).

Lines 33-36: Went down the … ten feet away.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

An immigrant one day went to the port and stood on the dock. He saw fishes swimming freely in the sea-water only ten feet away from his feet. He felt envious of the fishes that could move freely because he could not move freely in society being an immigrant.

Lines 37-40: Walked through … human race.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

One day an immigrant passed through a small forest and saw the birds flying freely and happily there. He felt envious of the birds. The birds did not have a politician to make their lives miserable by dividing them into nationalities etc. They were better than human beings. That is why they were singing and flying happily.

Lines 41-44: Dreamed I saw … was ours.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

An immigrant saw a thousand-storeyed building in his dream. The building was so spacious. It had a thousand doors and a thousand windows. Many people lived in that building but there was no room in that for the dreamer. He was hopeless (even in his dream).

Lines 45-48: Stood on a great … you and me.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from “Say This City Has Ten Million Souls” by W. H. Auden.

Context:

The poet tells us in this poem about the miserable condition of the immigrant German Jews. They face estrangement and alienation in the U.S.A. They face numberless barriers and have to live an isolated and miserable life.

Explanation:

The immigrants went to an open area outside the city to find some shelter there. It was snowing and the weather was very rough. But ten thousand soldiers reached there to bring them back. They could not remain even there freely. They were forced back perhaps to the refugee camps.

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