Auden's lifelong psychoanalytic interests began in his father's library. From the age of eight he attended boarding schools, returning home for holidays.
Auden, an eminent British modern poet, has produced a great variety of poems in various styles and on a wide range of subjects. Since very little information about it has been acquired so far, the author will approach it from her own perspective and understanding.
In literature, love is an eternal, much explored subject matter while law is not favored as much by poets as by lawyers. However, Auden seems rather concerned about law in his poem. Having seen the title, readers will not feel very abrupt or startled in the following parts.
In the first stanza law is compared to the sun, which is the representative of rules and regulations in nature. For the gardeners, they can do nothing but obey the rules of nature and be alert to the changes of seasons and weather.
Nature and man here are set in the opposite position. In the second stanza, law is the wisdom and experience of the old, which is challenged by the senses of the young.
With concise and vigorous language Auden has pictured the images of the old and the young vividly. The young and the old here form another pair of oppositions.
Neither of them would like to lose the dominant power in this world, which results in many contentions between generations. Then in the next stanza, law is said to be the religious doctrines and creeds by the priest. There are always people who wants to impose their own ideas upon others such as the old grandfather, the priest, and the judge in the fourth stanza.
Reading this stanza, many readers may conjure up the self-complacent judge before their eyes. Despite the sarcasm, the poet always keeps detached, which is quite different from the romantic poets who place emphasis on their own subjective emotion and intuition.
Being impersonalized is characteristic of modernist poetry, and is also one feature of this poem, as we can see here. In objective, scientific tone, Auden portrays those who want to alter the world according to their own will and attempt to impose their principles and laws upon the world.
Till now in terms of law Auden has dissected the muti-dimensional world in his first seven stanzas, leaving the readers kind of a panorama of the reality. The detached, clinical attitude and modern, scientific imagery may leave deep impression upon the reader.
Love becomes the interpreter of law and the world. Consequently, the abstract conception of law suddenly becomes clear and accessible. Just like love, law is intangible and obscure; law is a necessity but often causes pains at the same time; few people can escape from the restrictions of law but few can always observe it.
Like love, law is capricious and untrustworthy because the modern world can no longer provide order and eternal safety. The poet sounds pessimistic and ironical about love, law and life. Anyway, by means of love, the poet gives us a more plausible definition which is free from illusions or misleading conceptions.
Comparatively, other definitions derived from different purposes and outlooks of life seems delusory, one-sided and unconvincing.
It also holds true of this poem. It seems that he is a philosopher calmly discussing some problem with his familiar friends. With the strategy of detachment learned from T. Eliot, even though there is subtle irony among the lines, Auden can always manage to suppress his emotion and keep his delicate position.
As far as the form is concerned, Auden adopts irregular form which is at the same time in accordance with the conventionality.Law, Like Love by WH Auden "If no one knows the right law, then who has the power to actually say whats right?
The two people in the poem agree that law is similar to love, in a way that everyone knows what love and laws are, but no one can accurately define them. Apr 23, · Law Like Love Law, say the gardeners, is the sun, Law is the one All gardeners obey To-morrow, yesterday, to-day.
Law is the wisdom of the old, The impotent grandfathers feebly scold; The grandchildren put out a . Everyone loves a love story—especially a love affair. We may think ourselves above a juicy scandal, but who are we kidding?
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Development began in when Messina saw that the grounds of Glamis Castle would make a . Jul 10, · Law like Love – W.H. Auden.
Law, say the gardeners, is the sun, Law is the one All gardeners obey To-morrow, yesterday, to-day. Law is the wisdom of the old, The impotent grandfathers feebly scold; The grandchildren put out a treble tongue, Law is the senses of the young.