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"As I Walked Out One Evening," by W. H. Auden

Author: W. H. Auden


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

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May 15
ETHAN PEREZ (May 15 2019 2:00PM) : What does the poet mean by "the crowds upon the pavement were fields of harvest wheat"? more

I think what the poet is trying to say is that a once packed and crowded street is now quiet and empty.

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May 17
OLIVER LANG (May 17 2019 11:20AM) : I disagree with your thought that the streets are empty because if the place is filled with wheat, people could be described as that wheat that the place is full of
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May 17
Julissa (May 17 2019 11:33AM) : I think what this sentence means is that the harvest wheat represents the fields and that there is a lot of it, since it says "crowds" on the concrete.
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And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
‘Love has no ending.

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May 15
ETHAN PEREZ (May 15 2019 2:18PM) : What does she mean by "and the seven stars go squawking"
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‘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,

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‘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.

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

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ETHAN PEREZ (Apr 16 2019 2:03PM) : the poet may be talking about how quickly time passes by when you are occupied. such as the flower of the ages and the first love of the world [Edited]
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But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

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May 15
ETHAN PEREZ (May 15 2019 2:21PM) : Perhaps the poet means, between stanza 5 and 6 that, when he thought he controlled time, he later found that he couldn't.
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‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

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ETHAN PEREZ (May 15 2019 2:24PM) : What does the poet mean when he says "in the burrows of the nightmare where justice naked is"? more

Maybe it means Nightmares are just the harsh and hard to swallow truth??

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

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

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ETHAN PEREZ (May 16 2019 1:34PM) : What does he mean by threaded dances and how does time break it? more

Maybe its trying to say that even with the most directed and perfect attempts to do something, time will come out the winner.

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

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May 16
ETHAN PEREZ (May 16 2019 8:09PM) : This stanza can possibly mean that something that you appreciate and has been with you forever (your hand) you let go of, and regret what could've happened if you didn't drop it into the basin.
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‘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.

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‘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.

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

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

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

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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.

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DMU Timestamp: March 07, 2019 02:52

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