Out One Even Essay, Research Paper
The poem As I Walked Out One Evening by W.H. Auden is comprised mostly of a conversation between A Lover and Time. While the Lover believes that his love will never end or fade, Time is determined to show him how love can be worn down and exhausted throughout a lifetime until there is nearly nothing left.The Lover: The lover believes, as his first words state, that love has no ending. This same ideal of an unchanging love is brought back again in the last phrase of the lover s song where he calls his love The Flower of the Ages meaning an ever blooming, never dying flower. Here we have a lover bursting with passion and filled with romantic love. The lover, we can assume, is young because he has not experienced the way time diminishes or even just changes love. He goes on to sing a song to his lover about how deep his love is. The many hyperbole s Auden uses to describe the lovers feelings are almost comical, as if he is making fun of the lover s naivete from the very start. The images of salmon sing[ing] in the street , or stars squawking like geese about the sky are not typical phrases that we would use to explain love. Where we might say I ll love you until the oceans run dry , he instead uses I ll love you till the ocean is folded and hung up to dry . All of the word play he uses throughout the lover s song I believe is meant to show that the lover is silly in his emotions, so therefore, his words must also be silly. The lover also mentions time as running like rabbits, which we know is very quickly. He seems to see time as insignificant though, as if it could not touch two people so much in love. The song sung by time however, centers it s entire meaning on just how much love is effected by time.Time: Time is shown as somewhat of a dark figure in this poem. It comes to cast a shadow on the lover s idealistic beliefs of love, by showing that time is stronger than love. In the end, time will have his fancy . Time can see the extremes that will occur in relationships: When the glacier knocks in the cupboard there will be coldness between them, and when the desert sighs in the bed , there is a strong sexual connotation to heat in the bedroom. Time as well realizes the lovers will come to see flaws in each other as illustrated by the crack in the tea cup . Time brings to light all the real-life things that encompass a relationship after the romantic passionate feelings have faded.
Regret is another of times devices. Stare into the basin and wonder what you ve missed is speaking to someone older, perhaps middle aged who stares into the basin and sees a reflection without the youth and beauty it once held. When one realizes their youth is gone, and it will never return, doubts creep in about whether they really took advantage of the time they ve had. As far as love is concerned, one might wonder if they had made the right choices, or been with the right person. Towards the end of it s song, time grows only more harsh which could be said in life as well. I now believe the person time is speaking to is quite old. To say life is a blessing although you cannot bless is to be alive but nearly useless which could easily be felt in very old age as a persons health and strength diminish. As well the image of stand[ing] at the window connotes a person who has been resigned to watching life rather than living it. This all could relate to more than just physical old age though. It could also pertain to the emotional resignation one might go through to stay in a relationship. To stop desiring the passion of young lovers, and just carry out the relationship with little emotion involved.The Speaker: I see two possibilities for the speaker in As I Walked Out One Evening . The first is that perhaps the speaker is just the eyes and ears through which the poet, W.H. Auden, is showing us his own personal feelings about love and the effects of time on relationships. This seemed the most obvious choice since there is no active voice or thought that belongs to the speaker. The only characters we really get to know are the lover and time. The second possibility, however, would be that the person taking a walk in the evening is seeing a lover, and hearing clocks chiming, but all of the voices of the lover s song and of time are coming from the speakers own feelings and perceptions. This second possibility would make the speaker the main character as a basis for everything felt by the lover and by time gained through his own experience.