How does the poem "Spain" reflect Auden's attitude towards war and his socialist ideology?

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W.H. Auden begins his poem "Spain" by looking back to "Yesterday," a word he uses again and again to refer to various past ages, some hundreds and thousands of years ago, others relatively recent. Not all these yesterdays are romanticized—as well as the carving of angels and gargoyles, there are the trials of heretics and the theological feuds in the taverns. The picture Auden paints of the past is uneven and complex, colorful and varied.

Into the refrain of yesterdays creeps the repeated "but to-day the struggle". Whatever yesterday brought, today is always the struggle. Auden suggests that War, formerly frequent but intermittent, has now become constant. The struggle never ends.

As a socialist, Auden believes in the process of history as a violent struggle towards greater equality but he remains uncomfortably conscious of

... the poor in their fireless lodgings, dropping the sheets
Of the evening paper: "Our day is our loss. O show us
History the operator, the
Organiser. Time the refreshing river."

As a poet, therefore, he cannot quite bring himself to believe in any ideology and, at the same time, is appalled by the increase in and the increased deadliness of war. The poem ends with a series of "To-morrow"s, mirroring the repetition of "Yesterday" at the beginning of the poem, but whatever promises are made for tomorrow, the present gives little cause for hope:

To-day the deliberate increase in the chances of death,
The conscious acceptance of guilt in the necessary murder;
To-day the expending of powers
On the flat ephemeral pamphlet and the boring meeting.

The juxtaposition of horror and boredom is typical of Auden's perception of the modern State (including the modern Socialist state) and contrasts uncomfortably with the grandeur of Spain's past.

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