Wystan Hugh Auden was born in York, England on February 21, 1907. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford after his family moved to Birmingham during his early childhood. He later attended Oxford University where his gift as a poet was immediately realized. In 1930, at the age of twenty three, Auden's second collection of poetry aptly titled, Poems, was published, thus establishing him as a leading voice of a new generation (“W.H. Auden”).
Auden's technical virtuosity and extraordinary ability to write poems in nearly every verse form attributes to his esteem as a writer. He notably incorporated aspects of popular culture, including regional dialects and speech, and current events into many of his works. His poems often included literal or metaphorical elements of a journey or quest. Auden mimicked the writing styles of other notable poets such as W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, and Henry James (“W.H. Auden”).
Written in 1937 and published in his collection of poetry, Another Time, in 1940, “As I Walked Out One Evening” is a reflection on love and the mercilessness of time. The poem is a variation of the ballad form and consists of fifteen rhymed quatrains, which are four line stanzas of any kind, rhymed, metered, or otherwise (McLaughlin). It is told in three voices: the euphoric lover, the critical clocks, and the narrator. Each voice represents a different attitude towards love and time (Springer).
The lover's song illustrates time as something that can be ignored and overcome—no more than a passing annoyance of which to remain oblivious. The song embodies romantic idealism and attributes to a perceived existence outside of time:
“I'll love you dear, I'll...
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...ning." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, n.d. 1064-065. Print.
BoomTown. "As I Walked Out One Evening Analysis." Review. Web log post. CCHS British Poetry Project. Blogger, 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Kaiti. "As I Walked Out One Evening." Review. Web log post. Nerdfighters. N.p., 27 May 2009. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
McLaughlin, Damon. "Quatrain." Quatrain. N.p., 23 Aug. 1999. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Springer, Mike. "W.H. Auden Recites His 1937 Poem, "As I Walked Out One Evening"" Open Culture. N.p., 03 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Summers, Claude J. "Auden, W.H." Glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. Glbtq, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
"WH Auden." BBC History. BBC, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
"W.H. Auden." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
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