Refugee Blues

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"Refugee Blues" is a poem by W. H. Auden, written in 1939, one of a number of poems Auden wrote in the mid- to late-1930s in blues and other popular metres, for example the meter he used in his love poem "Calypso", written around the same time. The poem dramatizes the condition of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the years before World War II, especially the indifference and antagonism they faced when seeking asylum in the democracies of the period.[1] In some later editions of Auden's poetry, the poem is not identified by name but is the first of ten poems grouped together in "Ten Songs", which also includes the above-mentioned "Calypso".


  1. ^ Held, James (Winter 1992). "Ironic Harmony: Blues Convention and Auden's "Refugee Blues"". Journal of Modern Literature. Indiana University Press. 18 (1): 139–142. JSTOR 3831552.

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