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To A Poor Old Woman

William Carlos Williams

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those plums
Added by: Mac
It seems as though the plums aren't really all that great and the woman, who is assumed to be poor and old, it trying to convince herself that the plums are indeed good to her. Plums in a paper bag are hardly extravagance, and this lady sits in the street. It does not say adjacent to a street, it says on the street. It is said, (by faceless literary evaluations) that Bill C. Bills wanted to “capture the essence of modern American life”. A lower class woman eating not some exotic delicacy, just ordinary plums. An old and poor woman eating not in some fancy hall, simply the street. All the while trying to convince herself that these plums and this street are better than they really are. It seems to represent the majority of Americans in William Carlos Williams’ era quite nicely.
Added by: gourdman
Poor Mac, written like someone too jaded to appreciate a plum; or even worse, someone fed industrial plums out of supermarkets who has never tasted a real plum. You have my sympathy.

As to the poem, the second verse is perhaps one of the greatest examples of the function of the line break as you will ever see.

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