W. H. Auden once defined light verse as the kind that is written by poets who are democratically in tune with their audience and whose language is straightforward and close to general speech. Given that definition, the 123 poems in this collection all qualify; they are as accessible as popular songs yet have the wisdom and profundity of the greatest poetry.
As I Walked Out One Evening contains some of Auden's most memorable verse: "Now Through the Night's Caressing Grip," "Lullaby: Lay your Sleeping Head, My Love," "Under Which Lyre," and "Funeral Blues." Alongside them are less familiar poems, including seventeen that have never before appeared in book form. Here, among toasts, ballads, limericks, and even a foxtrot, are "Song: The Chimney Sweepers," a jaunty evocation of love, and the hilarious satire "Letter to Lord Byron." By turns lyrical, tender, sardonic, courtly, and risqué, As I Walked Out One Evening is Auden at his most irresistible and affecting.
About W. H. Auden
W. H. auden (1907-1973) was one of the wittiest and most worldly of English poetry's great twentieth century masters. His work ranges from the political to the religious, from the urbane to the romantic. He is also, with his exhilarating lyrical power and his understanding of love and longing in all their sacred and profane guises, an exemplary champion of human wisdom in its encounter with the mysteries of experience. More than any other poet, Auden used his poetry as an instrument to study the massive forces, dramas, and upheavals of the twentieth century, and his work displays an astonishing range of voice and breath of concern.