Summary and Analysis of As I Walked Out One Evening by Auden

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INTRODUCTION TO W.H. AUDEN-

W.H. Auden was born on 21st february in the year 1907 in York, England. This American-English poet is know for his versatile work revolving around varying genres. Auden was always inspired by poets like Thomas Hardy, William Blake, Emily Dickinson etc. and his brilliance and creativity is evident in his vivid imagery laden works.


AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING-

In this poem, the poet questions the reality behind the spoken words of love and adoration. He wonders upon the significance of the words and motions, their meaning and about the intentions that inspire such actions.

SETTING OF AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING-

The setting of the poem moves from being that of an urban area to being one of the rural areas. From a larger perspective, it can be observed that the poem is actually set in the mind of the poet and his wondering thoughts.

POETIC DEVICES IN AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING-

ALLITERATION-

“As I walked out one evening”

REPETITION-

“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you”

“I’ll love you till the ocean”

RHYME SCHEME OF AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING-

“And down by the brimming river  (A)

  I heard a lover sing (B)

Under an arch of the railway:  (C)

  ‘Love has no ending.”  (B)

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SUMMARY OF AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING-

The speaker starts by telling that as he walked by the Bristol street one evening, he observed the heavily crowded pavement. And then, down the pavement besides the brimming river, the speaker heard a lover sing. The lover sings of loving his lady till China and Africa meet, till the river starts flowing above the mountain, till the ocean dries and till the seven stars disappear from the sky. The singer sings, the years might flow away but he would not care for he will have for eternity the love of his lady, he would have with him his first love. The narrator then observes the clocks chiming as if warning the lover that time can never be conquered, time shadows every move and coughs when the lovers kiss. In the humdrum of routine, life flows away while time enjoys itself tomorrow and today. The speaker asks the lovers to plunge their hands into the water, upto their wrists and watch carefully what they have missed. The seasons change but time remains the same. Faiths of people change, the earth regenerates, though the life is full of distress, it still remains a blessing that cannot bless itself. Then the speaker observes that as the evening turns into night, all the lovers leave his sight, the clock stops its chime while the river keeps flowing.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING-

“As I Walked Out One Evening” by W. H. Auden is a brilliant composition that portrays the strength of time, asks questions regarding the words of adoration spoken without an ounce of reality to them and expresses the poet’s view of the importance of appreciating every minute of life.

TONE OF AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING-

The tone of the poem is calm, the imagery created is beautiful.

CONCLUSION-

This amazing composition reminds the readers of the importance of time, reality behind the words and enjoying the life, every second of it.

Contributor: Radhika Goel


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