In "If I Could Tell You" W.H. Auden uses personification, repetition and imagery in order to prove the point; you must live your life like you do not have time left. Auden gives a vast setting over all. There are two main characters; Auden and time. The dialogue is in first person and he is speaking to some one he cares about.
Auden uses personification to give life to time. This shows how time is the keeper of our destiny. He personifies time because he does not know how to reply to the subject of the poem. Which is, we do not know what will happen in the future only time know. With line 1 he goes "Time will say nothing but I told you so". He says this to prove time knows everthing but time can not tell you.
Auden uses repetition to bring a structure to the poem. Auden repeats the lines. "If I could tell you I would let you know" and "Time will say nothing but I told you so". thoes lines are emphasized in this poem to repeat the true meaning; which is about life and time. That is why he repeats the word time, like in line 1, to stress its importance and how it separates the two lovers. He only mentions "love" once on line eight; but it suggests time's supremacy over love. Though he still feels the emotion. He is trying to tell the person he is talking to that if you wait for things to happen life will pass you by, suggested in the last stanza " Suppose the lions all get up and go, and all the brooks and soldiers run away; time will say nothing but I told you so."
Auden uses imagery to paint the story of life in your mind. This poem uses a lot of imagery to paint a picture of life in your mind. Lines such as:
" If we should weep when clowns put on their show." "If we should stumble when musicians play" "The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,There must be reason why the leaves decay;" "Perhaps the roses really want to grow," "Suppose the lions all get up and go,And the brooks and soldiers run away;". All of...