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As I Walked Out One Evening: Songs, Ballads, Lullabies, Limericks & Other Light Verse
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As I Walked Out One Evening: Songs, Ballads, Lullabies, Limericks & Other Light Verse

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  271 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
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
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 8th 1995 by Vintage
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Jey
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
His poetry gives me goosebumps <3


‘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.
Edlira Dibrani
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am in love with his poems
Mark
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My only experience with Auden's work was the favorite "Funeral Blues," made popular in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. I found nearly all completely within my understanding and just as important, many address issues still relevant today. I will not give anything away. Give this collection a chance and take your time, enjoy.
Matthew Maline
Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If I had only one book to give to a good friend, I think this would be it. To my frail subjectivity, W.H. Auden is the best writer in the English language. And yes, I do mean "best" and not favorite.

Let us compare him to Shakespeare. This is why Shakespeare ultimately fails: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFof9A... And no, I don't buy the argument that Shakespeare is telling us about himself but none of us can really understand. As far as we can tell, he never left England or really fought in a
...more
Regan
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I don't read much poetry and, Shakespeare aside, honestly tend not to understand most of it. That which I do like is simple and straightforward: Emily Dickenson, Ogden Nash, Verlaine, Rimbaud. WH Auden certainly fits in this category and produced a range of funny, sad, poignant and even downright ribald poems over the course of his career. This book collects many of them, including quite a number of poems that started life as lyrics in musicals or light operas among them the famous "Stop All the ...more
skokiesam
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I rarely read books of poetry, only because I've never read a poet whose poetry I enjoy so completely as I do W. H. Auden's. Strangely enough, I learned about Auden from a movie: Four Weddings and a Funeral. John Hannah's character recites a poem toward the end of the movie, and I had always loved it. After watching the movie for the umpteenth time, I finally gave up and looked up the poem and found Auden.

I like a lot of poems and I like a lot of poetry. Auden's wry humor pervades his melancholi
...more
Ruth
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Maybe even more entertaining that reading Auden's light verse this time around was reading the marginal notes made by my 20-year-old self. Hahahha, what a dork. I obviously knew nothing about anything. :) Note for gentle readers: "Light verse" refers more to style and tone than subject matter. With Auden, there's always the possibility of dark subject material and sharp language.
Jay Daze
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, literature
Most light verse I have read is terrible. This book proves that it should only be undertaken by a great poet. Leave the epic, ode, and sonnet to the mediocre, the limerick is the realm of the genius.


There was a young poet whose sex
Was aroused by aesthetic effects;
Marvell's The Garden
Gave him a hard-on
And he came during Oedipus Rex.

(169)
Susan
Feb 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this collection, selected by Edward Mendelson, based on the Alexander McCall Smith book "What W. H. Auden Can Do For You" (see my GoodReads review). I am not well-read in poetry. But I know what I like. In this collection I liked "Funeral Blues" and a few other of Auden's shorter poems. He lost me on most.
Matt
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I don't know about "light verse". Even the lightest of Auden's verse still contains at least one line with such piercing insight into the human condition, and such wailing beauty as to render it a little "heavier".
Krishan
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Too many favorites to mention.
Suffice to say that this collection is among the most desireable of Auden collections in print. That's not bad for the greatest English lanuage poet of the 20th century.
Muireann
Meh. A few profound moments (and the limericks were at least amusing) but most of them just baffled that anyone would think them worth publishing. It may be that in their original context (various Isherwood revues, plays, toasts for college special occasions) their interest was more apparent.
David Tendo
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Auden's work is so versatile, fun and engaging. There are some really famous poems in here such as Funeral Blues which was featured in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, but there are plenty of other little gems.
Lili
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read if read as titbits now and then. It is exactly what it says on the cover light verse, easy on the mind.
Jan
Jul 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Ah, the kind of verse that's light but deep. Good through and through.
Ciarra
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A beautiful collection of many thought-provoking and emotionally gripping pieces of writing; a real delight and very quick to read.
g026r
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, 2012
Some good poems, some poems so bad I wondered why anyone deemed them publish-worthy, but mostly poems that were neither good nor bad.

In other words, about usual for my encounters with Auden.
Ashley
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenge
Beautiful and engaging poetry. It's light, but still incredibly deep.

Definitely re-reading in the future. It's rare to find poetry that makes me feel this much.
Mary McCray
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A little celebrity obsession, a little modern life, a little sex, a little critique on writers...all in beautiful meter with smart rhymes. What's not to love?
Swasti Tripathy
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
‘In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.'
Robert
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Poetry that moves the soul.
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14002590
Wystan Hugh Auden was an Anglo-American poet, best known for love poems such as Funeral Blues, poems on political and social themes such as September 1, 1939 and The Shield of Achilles, poems on cultural and psychological themes such as The Age of Anxiety, and poems on religious themes such as For the Time Being and Horae Canonicae. He was born in York, grew up in and near Birmingham in a professi ...more
More about 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.”
120 likes
“O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.”
87 likes
More quotes…