Auden’s As I Walked Out One Evening
“As I Walked Out One Evening” is a poem written by W. H. Auden in the mid-1930s. The poet depicts how beautiful and eternal love can be expected. By contrast, no matter how people struggle, they still cannot escape from the Judgement Day of Time. This essay will analyze Auden’s poetic techniques in expressing his ideas on the themes of love, time and their relationship.
The poem is a literary ballad featuring “A-B-C-B” quatrains. This form can provide a straightforward as well as neat feeling for readers to appreciate, since it has a strong musical and lyrical rhyme-scheme. At the beginning, as the speaker walks down the Bristol Street, he regards the crowds as “fields of harvest wheat”. The speaker describes that people are like harvest wheat waiting to be cut down by scythe which symbolizes ruthless time. The speaker portrays a desperate scene first, nevertheless, his attention is caught by a lover’s singing. “I’ll love you Till China and Africa meet,” “I’ll love you till the ocean Is folded and hung up to dry.” The poet uses magnificent as well as precise images to demonstrate the eternal as well as unfathomable power of love. In the next stanza, the poet even wrote, “The years shall run like rabbits, For in my arms I hold. The Flower of the Ages, And the first love of the world” Through this specific line, we can see that the time can be carved or twisted like the track of a rabbit when it was mingling with love. Hence, we can feel the romantic and strong power of love. However, “The Flower of the Ages” is a highly idealized or symbolic figure for love and we can feel the inevitable movement from birth to death.
In the sixth stanza, the speaker begins to reveal the authentic ability of time, he wrote, “But all the clocks in the city/ Began to whirr and chime: ‘O let not Time deceive you, You cannot conquer Time.” The speaker begins to turn the keynote of the poem into a realistic tone and he gradually draw people’s attention f...