Theme Of The Poem As I Walked Out One Evening

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Both of the poems analyzed for the championship round are both pensive in tone. Auden’s poem is about someone who is deep in thought while on a walk at night, and Billy Collins’ poem is the inner thoughts of someone wondering about what comes after death. Each poem is interesting and centers around common human experiences, but “The First Night” is more profound because of the emotion the reader feels when they also consider mortality and the uncertainty of what follows life on earth.

W. H. Auden’s poem, “As I Walked Out One Evening,” is a detailed description of the things a person out for a nightly stroll encounters and perceives. The poem is structured in fifteen stanzas, each with four lines. The second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyme at the end. The title of the poem establishes the expected occasion, a nighttime stroll, which is confirmed right away in the first stanza. Imagery and metaphor are both used to give the reader a clear picture of the setting of the poem in the lines, “The crowds upon the pavement/Were fields of harvest wheat.” Imagery is a commonly used literary device throughout the poem; in this instance it is used to set the scene, which is important to the purpose of making the speaker’s experience relatable to the reader. Most everyone can imagine walking down a busy street at night, and since the reader is able to relate to the experience of the speaker, the poem is more easily understood and meaningful to the reader. Imagery is also used in
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