“As I Walked Out One Evening”
W. H. Auden’s poem entitled “As I Walked out One Evening” is an illustration of life, journey, and love. The protagonist of the verse discussed how a life should be taken care of. Based on my own reading, I can say that the persona is a man because the author used dominating and masculine languages as the persona unravels the situations of the poem. The whole verse discussed simple things such as the importance of time, beauty of love, and essence of nature. The author as well as the persona incorporated these three aspects as one to show how important life is. Through the images, literary elements, and languages, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the meaning of the poem as it reveals the perfection and creation of life beyond its environment.
In the first two stanzas of the poem showed how the persona is being overwhelmed with the things that he saw during his walk one evening. He felt the beauty of nature and fulfillment of his love towards his life, loved ones, and enemies. The fields of harvest wheat were the metaphorical construction of the persona’s life where he has a large space of choices. The third and fourth stanza illustrated how the persona loved his woman despite of the distance and time that surround them. The simile of two concepts and countries emerged in these two stanzas as a depiction of the persona emotions towards his special someone. The irony of sky and ocean were combined together to show that the narrator will become much powerful just to prove to his special someone how mighty his love is.
However, from power, the narrator talks about how life is important in many ways. The concept of time exists in the fifth and sixth stanza where he showed the process of life from the creation of animals up to the creation of the modern flowers. The rabbit is a depiction of deepness and purity; while the flower showed passion and love. It shows the virginity of womanhood, which was illustrated by the narrator in these two stanzas.
Nevertheless, from joy and happiness, the narrator did not take for granted the constructions and concepts of pain and sorrow that emerged in the environment of life. If there is love, there is always an enemy. When there is joy, there is always sadness. When there is richness, there is always poverty. When there is blessing, there is always misbelieving. Lastly, when there is lightness, there would always be darkness. These ironies were discussed in the latter part of the verse. The metaphorical illusion of life and ironies of conception and social construct created a notion of society and knowledge. Through this, it can be seen that every single thing is connected to one another. There is a cause and effect situation that occurred within these aspects that the persona was trying to reveal. It shows that life is a chosen ground where there are options of happiness, sadness, fear, envy, contentment, and purity in the world of tainted knowledge and fear.
In conclusion to this, the wholeness of the poem showed how life in general is a wonderful journey. It is the option of a man whether to create a good and positive life or stay in the field of darkness and fear. The author of the poem can be said as unbiased with the society of life. He unravels real situations that exist in a normal and ironic life that we experienced once – but brought us to contentment and purpose of being.
Auden, W.H. (n.d.). “As I Walked Out One Evening” 4 May 2008. http://www.crocker.com/~slinberg/poems/auden/asiwalked.html