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W H Auden by Rosaline Nyamweya

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago
 
AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING.
 
The setting of the poem is in the evening and the speaker is walking down Bristol Street in England. The speaker of the poem is talking about the love of his life. He has also revealed to us how “love” is trying to compete with time.
In stanza six he says we should deceive ourselves since we cannot conquer time. As the poet speaks to us through the first six stanzas, the speaker is in a love mood as he describes the love of his life and how deep his love is. The speaker uses the following words to describe his love, “I will love you till China and Africa meet”, “and the years shall run like rabbits, for in my hands I hold the flower of ages and the first love of the world”.
In stanza seven the mood changes, he seems to be sad when he starts talking about time and how it will separate him from his lover. The questions become more factual, questioning and harsh. In stanza eight he mentions of headaches and worry caused by thinking too much about life that will eventually leak away, but time will continue moving on. In stanza nine lives has been likened to a green valley, which drifts away as it gets destroyed by the snow, as it only had certain duration of time to exist. Stanza ten is talking about the acceptance of the possibility that time will conquer love in the end. Stanza thirteen denotes that we should appreciate life and it should “remain a blessing though we cannot bless it”.
As the poem ends the speaker talks about the, late evening when all the lovers had gone and the clocks had stopped chirming and the deep river ran on. Here he could be talking about the end of life and love, but still time went on represented by the river that ran on. This is in contrast to stanza two line eight, where love has been mentioned to have no ending.
Unfortunately love cannot compete with time; it is an impossibility. In the end, all men will have gone but time will still remain. Life is leaking away and so is love; there is no way to beat time.
 
summary 
THE FALL OF ROME .
 
The setting of the poem is in the city of Rome. The speaker of the poem is an omniscient narrator. He clearly knows what is happening both in the fallen Romanian city and how peaceful it is miles and miles away.
The poem is giving an emotion of distress and sadness. A well known city is falling a part and soon there will be an end to the great city. It is also denoted in the poem that the intellectual class praises discipline but the soldiers in the land all the land all they wan is food and their salary.
This is in contrast to what nature gives, the little birds with scarlet legs have been used, they seem to mind their own business, nursing their eggs and watch on the ruined city of Rome. Elsewhere there is freedom represented by a vast of reindeer moving silently and very fast. Unlike the city of Rome, this is falling apart and coming to an end. People are in discord and there is existence of different classes of people, the wealthy, middle class and the low class.
The positive images that show the beauty of nature in the poem include the little birds with scarlet legs, the reindeer and miles of golden moss. The negative images in the poem that show the fall of Rome include. The pillars that are pummeled by the waves, in a deserted field rain falls on an abandoned train. There are also people who area not protested by the law filling the mountain caves. Expensive gowns have been used to represent the wealthy class who are divided from the low class.
 
 

The Fall of Rome
 
 
(for Cyril Connolly)
 
The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.
Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.
Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.
Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.
Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK
On a pink official for
Unendowed with wealth or pity
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.
Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.



From Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright © 1940 W. H. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W. H. Auden. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

 

Life History of W.H.Auden.

Wystan Hugh Auden was born in 1907. Auden traced his love of music and language partly to the church services of his childhood. He believed he was of Icelandic descent, and his lifelong fascination with Ice landing legends and Sagas is visible through his work. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._H._Auden).

            In 1908 he moved to Birmingham and was educated at Christ Church Oxford. Until he was fifteen he was expected to become a mining engineer but his passion for words had already begun. Auden’s first school was St Edmunds Surrey School where he met Christopher Isherwood. In 1925 he went to Christ Church, Oxford University with a scholarship in biology but he switched to English by his second year. He left Oxford in 1928 with a third class degree. He was re-introduced to Isherwood in 1925 and for the next few years Isherwood was his literary mentor to whom he sent poems, comments and critism. As a young man he was influenced by the poetry of Thomas Hardy, Robert Foster, Emily Dickinson and English verse. (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/W._.H._Auden).

In 1928 his collection of poems was privately published but it was until 1930, when another collection entitled poems was published that Auden was the leading voice in a new generation. (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/W._.H_.Auden).

Auden published about four hundred poems, including seven long poems two of which were book length. His poetry was encyclopedic in scope and method ranging in style from the 20th century modernism, to the lucid traditional forms such as ballads, haiku and Christmas Oratories’. The tone and content ranged from pop song cliché to complex mediations. (http://wikipedi.org/wiki/W._.H._.Auden).

            Unlike other poets, his reputation did not decline after his death. Joseph Brodsky wrote and praised him to be “the greatest mind of the twentieth century”. His popularity and familiarity increased after his “Funeral Blues” (Stop all the Clocks) was read aloud in a funeral and four weddings. After September 11 2001 his poem “September 1, 1939” was widely circulated. (http://wikipedia.org/W._.H._.Auden).

The Fall of Rome

 

by W. H. Auden

 

(for Cyril Connolly)

 

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.
Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.
Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,Silently and very fast.




From Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright © 1940 W. H. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W. H. Auden. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

 

As I Walked Out One Evening                                                   

by W. H. Auden

 

As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
   I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
   'Love has no ending.

'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
   Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
   And the salmon sing in the street,

'I'll love you till the ocean
   Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
   Like geese about the sky.

'The years shall run like rabbits,
   For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages
   And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

'In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.

'In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.

'Into many a green valley
   Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
   And the diver's brilliant bow.

'O plunge your hands in water,
   Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
   And wonder what you've missed.

'The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
   The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
   A lane to the land of the dead.

'Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
   And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
   And Jill goes down on her back.

'O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

'O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
   With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on. 
 

 

 

 

From Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright © 1940 W. H. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W. H. Auden. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

 

Summary

 

AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING.

The setting of the poem is in the evening and the speaker is walking down Bristol Street in England. The speaker of the poem is talking about the love of his life. He has also revealed to us how “love” is trying to compete with time.

In stanza six he says we should deceive ourselves since we cannot conquer time. As the poet speaks to us through the first six stanzas, the speaker is in a love mood as he describes the love of his life and how deep his love is. The speaker uses the following words to describe his love, “I will love you till China and Africa meet”, “and the years shall run like rabbits, for in my hands I hold the flower of ages and the first love of the world”.

In stanza seven the mood changes, he seems to be sad when he starts talking about time and how it will separate him from his lover. The questions become more factual, questioning and harsh. In stanza eight he mentions of headaches and worry caused by thinking too much about life that will eventually leak away, but time will continue moving on. In stanza nine lives has been likened to a green valley, which drifts away as it gets destroyed by the snow, as it only had certain duration of time to exist. Stanza ten is talking about the acceptance of the possibility that time will conquer love in the end. Stanza thirteen denotes that we should appreciate life and it should “remain a blessing though we cannot bless it”.

As the poem ends the speaker talks about the, late evening when all the lovers had gone and the clocks had stopped chirming and the deep river ran on. Here he could be talking about the end of life and love, but still time went on represented by the river that ran on. This is in contrast to stanza two line eight, where love has been mentioned to have no ending.

Unfortunately love cannot compete with time; it is an impossibility. In the end, all men will have gone but time will still remain. Life is leaking away and so is love; there is no way to beat time.

 

 

work cited from<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._H._Auden>

                       <http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/120>.

 

 

external links<http://audensociety.org/>.

                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 9:41 am on May 10, 2007

Nice information, just maybe a little hard to read because the poems are written very small. Otherwise nice work

Anonymous said

at 9:53 am on May 10, 2007

This page is full of information. Good poems very interesting.

Anonymous said

at 10:00 am on May 10, 2007

There is a lot of good information on this page, but it seems a little unorganized. Otherwise good work.

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