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 to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?
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":
O we were in his mind, my dear, O 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.
WH Auden's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Refugee Blues by WH Auden )
- Carlos Drummond de Andrade
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(10 November 1730 – 4 April 1774)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- I Say I Say I Say, Simon Armitage
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- A Night-Piece, William Wordsworth
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
Poem of the Day
- I Love Life, Alfred Oyori
- Silence, ashi singh
- Tales Of A Wife: Gillie, Onyekachukwu Vincent Onyeche
- My Conscience Leads Me On, Tony Adah
- Just To Encourage You To Hold On, Edward Kofi Louis
- I Will Seek For You, Edward Kofi Louis
- Under The Apple Tree, Edward Kofi Louis
- Spiced Wine, Edward Kofi Louis
- Innocent Wishes, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
- Come And See II, Edward Kofi Louis