The More Loving One
Wystan Hugh Auden has been called one of the great poets of our time. W.H. Auden has written hundreds of poems, numerous of them are popular and recognized by many. One such poem is “The More Loving One” (Auden 282). If you questioned people as to what the poem is about, you will get a variety of responses, but mostly they would say it is about a love that is not reciprocated. I intend to unravel the true meaning of the poem, which is not really about an unrequited love but about indifference.
In the first line, W.H. Auden could use the imagery of the stars, to highlight the sheer unattainability of unrequited love. Like the stars there is an immeasurable separation and distance between the person who is in love and the person who does not love back. I soon realize that the stars here are not the stars we see in the night sky. If they were then they would be in capable of caring or showing affection. The poem continues in the second line, by stating that the person has “indifferent” feelings for him and that they could really not be bothered one way or another. “But on earth indifference is the least/we have to dread from man or beast” (line 3, 4). The speaker is pointing out that this dilemma of “indifference” is certainly one of life’s biggest fears that we will have to overcome if we must find happiness.
In the second stanza, W.H. Auden poses the reader a question, “How should we like it were stars to burn/with a passion for us we could not return” (line 5, 6)? The line is a perfect metaphor for aspects of human love. The speaker’s feelings are strong and painful. W.H. Auden uses the word “burn” and “passion” to implore the intense imagery of love as well as love’s feelings. The poem then takes a different turn. These next two lines express the possibility of a resolution to the under lying anger and bitterness the speaker is dealing with. They could in fact represent an act of generosity and selflessness: “Since we cannot...