What can Shmoop say? Love makes the world go round and all that good stuff. Okay, it can also be the most difficult thing in the world, but that's for another poem. In "As I Walked Out One Evening," Auden wants us to consider Love's ability to conquer Time. Is it even a fair fight? Let's find out.
Questions About Love
Can you identify with the lover in this poem? Why or why not?
What do you think of the quantifiers (e.g. I'll love you till China and Africa meet) that the lover uses to describe his love? Will you be borrowing any of them for your own personal use? Why or Why not?
The clocks tell us "You cannot conquer Time." Are they right? Do you agree with the clocks or are you with the lovers on this one? What makes the lover in the poem think his love can conquer Time?
Chew on This
Based on the poem's themes and imagery, it's clear that Auden would be a terrible guy to include on a Valentine's Day double date.
Auden's descriptions of Love capture the sense of power and possibility that come with feelings of intense love. By making the lover's descriptions so over the top, Auden captures the otherness of Love. If anything can beat Time, it's Love.