Find metaphors and explain them in the poem "Lullaby" (Lay your sleeping head, my love) by W.H. Auden.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Auden uses several metaphors throughout the poem, most particularly to imbue the sense of time in "Lullaby" with deeper meaning and purpose in the last stanza.  The "winds of dawn" offer the illusion of a fresh clean start, whereas later when the time shifts to the afternoon, Auden's diction hardens to show a more stringent reality.  Auden uses the metaphor "noons of dryness see you fed, By the involuntary powers" to convey a time of difficulty in life (37). The word 'dryness' summons the image of a drought or desert; Auden creates a metaphor both unforgiving and harsh. 

Later in the same stanza, Auden closes the metaphorical day, by referencing night--

"Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love" (39-40)

Auden's use of the metaphorical day in his poem "Lullaby" reinforces his theme of timeless love; "the nights of insult" pass his beloved by, ending the poem with a secure, comfortable resonance.