As I Walked Out One Evening, By W.H. Auden
Read by Tom Hiddleston
Submitted by Sarah Wingo
“As I Walked Out One Evening” was written in the mid-1930s, early in Auden’s career. In technical terms the poem is a literary ballad with ABCB quatrains and other elements of the lyric poem. The poem deals with love, mortality, and the steady march of time. Although there is melancholy in this poem, one of my favorite take aways from it is that although life is fleeting, and perhaps even more so because it is so fleeting “Life remains a blessing.” My favorite line comes near the end of the poem:
“You shall love your crooked neighbor
With your crooked heart.”
This line acknowledges the deep imperfections of humanity, while at the same time celebrating the human capacity for love.
As we count down to Christmas you will hear my voice and other voices from the library reading some of the poems that have been selected, but to start us off with a little treat I found an audio clip of Tom Hiddleston reading “As I Walked Out One Evening”:
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