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The Thing

William Carlos Williams

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Added by: jack
Outstanding, anyone who has every been harassed by telemarketers or called someone ‘the day after’ can surely agree with WCW here. Couldn’t have possibly said it better myself.
Added by: FulySikhChik
-school bell

leaves the reader open for interretation
Everybody has their Thing.
Added by: Scott Eals
“The Thing” was a very interesting poem and has become one of my all time favourites. Once again William Carlos Williams and his unorthodox style evoked quite a bit of frustration in me when I first read this poem. I did not have the slightest idea what “The Thing” could mean. The problem was that I was interpreting it from a literal perspective when I should have been looking at it from a broader view. Once I adjusted how I looked at the poem I came to a conclusion on the meaning of the poem. “The Thing” is different for everybody. It is that little something that instinctively dictates us in our daily lives.

Each and every human being has their “Thing.” This fixation could be a classroom bell for a teacher, a phone call for a businessman or a church bell for religious people. In each of these cases a “Thing” is determining a certain person’s actions. The school bell for a teacher signals that he or she must go to class to teach. A phone call for a businessman is predominantly a client in need of assistance. When I visit my uncle I experience this first hand. He is a plumber and whenever his phone rings it is almost a guarantee that he will be off to help someone. When a Church bell rings a religious person must go to mass. When that person is at the Church the ritual of the mass has full control over the audience. The audience stands up, kneels, sits down and receives the Eucharist because the Church is their “Thing.”

This poem made me wonder what my “Thing” is. I came to the answer that it is my alarm clock. When my alarm clock goes off in the morning I know it is time for school. The alarm clock and the sound it makes is an indication that I must get ready for school. My alarm clock dictates me to put my feet on the ground and start a new day. This poem expresses that we all have a “Thing,” which tyrannizes us in a most profound way.

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