Satire and Irony in Poetry W.H. Auden’s poem “The Unknown Citizen” and Edward Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory” are both excellent examples of the usage of irony in poetry. In addition, Paul Simon’s reworking of the poem of “Richard Cory” into a song maintains the original ironic and satirical spirit of the Robinson’s poem. While the subject matter of these two poems may differ slighty, one thing that they have in common is their critique of the modern human condition. Both of these poems satirize the human condition through their respective use of irony and other literary devices. This paper will examine both of these peoms as well as Paul Simon’s reworking of “Richard Cory” to identify just how and about what it is that these...The end:
.....t would appear that Cory, because of his material wealth, would be happier than them. And yet, his material things do not bring him real joy. The irony at play here is that the poor wish they were “in his place”, and yet he is worse off than them. This satirizes the modern condition by showing the emptyiing out of meaning that occurs with materialism and with the general capitalist pursuit of money. It is appropriate that this be written during the height of the industrial revolution. This is just a short list of how these two poems use irony and other literary devices to satirize the modern human condition. There are many other examples, like Paul Simon’s song which expands on the story of Richard Cory, but still maintains the same themes.