Musee des Beaux Arts

The poem "Musee des Beaux Arts" by W.H. Auden is undoubtedly about human suffering. Its verses comment on the ironic condition we are all put here to endure-"that even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course." Auden reveres the"Old Masters", perhaps aged and faded poets, for their deep understanding of the magnitude of human sufferingthat is dispersed around the globeeveryday. Although the poem does not directlyconcern, I sensed as a reader that Audenwas talking about suffering on every level andin all forms- heartache, physical pain, loneliness and grief, along with all the other endurancesthat come about in a lifetime."How it takes place while someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;" addresses the realization that suffering is ubiquitous in this world, and we are all just pieces on display at the "Museum of Beautiful Art (Musee des Beaux Arts)".

We seldom realize while we are going about our daily routines that someone in the world is going through unimaginable pain. We are even able to forget our own suffering while delving into whatever task is at hand, so I think Auden is making a statement about our ability to turn off the gravity of our own reality."How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting for the miraculous birth, there always must be children who did not specially want it to happen," sheds light on our tendencies as human beings to not see things for what they really are. When a child is born we see it as a joyous event, although the reality isthat we are enteringaninnocent person into a lifetime of suffering, and there are children who endure so much pain on the whim of Offret 2 being born.

Audenjuxtaposes the human position with that of a dog..." some untidy spot where the dogs go about their doggy life," as if to say we are these dogs. We livelife without being fully conscious of what is goingon around us. Our simplicity is that of an animal, and we are so unaware that we choose not to pay attention to great events..."how everything turns away quiet leisurely from the disaster." Although I know Breughelks Icarus is a painting, however, I could not quite grasp how it ties into Auden's poem because I am not familiar with the piece. It most definitely prompted enough significance to the author to shape the poems title. Overall, I felt that the poem was a statement on human perceptions and how we use them to observe, or block out human suffering. It compares to extremes like "a boy falling out of the sky, had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on."

The poetry makes bold comparisons between that which calms us and that which excites us. The author chooses to adhere to a rhymes scheme during some lines, but disregards it for others. This could be yet another statement on the two extremes of suffering and nonchalantness that Auden mentions. I felt that the poem was very effective, powerful and thought-provoking, although I was a bit confused by some portions of the work. What did come through to me were the symbolic connections the author was making about children and the elderly, innocent animals and their torturer's. I lost clarity, however, near the end with the Icarus reference and am very interested to learn the full interpretation. What I took away from it was a certain awareness of the pandemic suffering taking place right at this moment. Auben is very true at his supposition that many of it is overlooked and not given it's due attention. That aspect of the poetry gave the work a certain timeless quality because I feel that that statement is just as true now as it was 100 years ago, and will still be true 100 from now. That, in my opinion, is what makes a piece of writing Offret 3 a great, it's ability to transcend decades and remain relevant to whoever reads it.

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