WH Auden Refugee Blues
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.
I watched it one week ago, under the same title, short documentary by Stephan Bookas and Tristan Daws’. As beautiful and sad as the poem.
Almost half a year ago, on 24th October 2016 French authorities started to dismantle the Jungle – Calais Migrant Camp. But like report some papers still interested in the tragic fate of its’ inhabitants people started to come back to the neighborhood of the town. After accommodation centers they were transported to started to close many of migrants decided to return to the port town, around 15 a day according to The Telegraph. Moreover the latest report by The Independent estimates that about 400 refugees live on the streets of Calais, many minors. 200 more new migrants are coming every week to French capital from Italy after crossing Mediterranean, many of which will probably attempt to reach UK via Calais. Situations is not any better in nearby city of Dunkirk, where the number of refugees doubled from about 700 since the Jungle was closed. The camps is overcrowded, living conditions very poor, it doesn’t meet international humanitarian standards. No wonder some young migrants clash with police and become violent even towards one another. Authorities response only add fuel to the fire. Many charities and social workers admit that refugees face brutality of police officers, sometimes unexplained one like kicking and beating up sleeping people so the move elsewhere, like being refugee is a crime.