As I Walked Out One Evening: Songs, Ballads, Lullabies, Limericks & Other Light Verse by W.H. AudenW. H. Auden once defined light verse as the kind that is written by poets who are democratically in tune with their audience and whose language is straightforward and close to general speech. Given that definition, the 123 poems in this collection all qualify; they are as accessible as popular songs yet have the wisdom and profundity of the greatest poetry.
As I Walked Out One Evening contains some of Audens most memorable verse: Now Through the Nights Caressing Grip, Lullaby: Lay your Sleeping Head, My Love, Under Which Lyre, and Funeral Blues. Alongside them are less familiar poems, including seventeen that have never before appeared in book form. Here, among toasts, ballads, limericks, and even a foxtrot, are Song: The Chimney Sweepers, a jaunty evocation of love, and the hilarious satire Letter to Lord Byron. By turns lyrical, tender, sardonic, courtly, and risque, As I Walked Out One Evening is Auden at his most irresistible and affecting.
Wystan Hugh Auden - As I Walked Out One Evening (1937)
W. H. Auden: Poems Summary and Analysis of "As I Walked Out One Evening"
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by W.H. Auden
From Another Time by W. Auden, published by Random House. Auden, renewed by the Estate of W. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd. Materials for Teachers Materials for Teachers Home.
As the speaker walks out one evening along Bristol Street, he sees crowds upon the pavement like fields of wheat. I will love you until the ocean is folded and hung up to dry, until the seven stars cry out like geese in the sky. All the clocks in the city start chiming, saying: Do not think you can conquer time. Deep in the Nightmare where Justice resides naked, Time watches and turns a kiss into a cough. Life fades always in headaches and worries, and Time will get what he wants either tomorrow or today.