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The Red Wheelbarrow

William Carlos Williams

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Added by: Nancy
I was searching for a good poem to do an analysis on for one of my Literature classes, and I vaguely remembered this poem. I think it is simple yet poignant, it is a thought that seems to flick through all of our heads. We see something contrasting in what it is or the color and we are struck by it. I truly think this is a beautiful poem in an odd indirect sort of way.
the red wheelbarrow
Added by: Kenan Hebert
it's obliqueness is precisely the point. as i read the poem, it says (paraphrasing) so much depends upon what we see, and what we make of it.
Added by: missy
i always took this poem more literal, without the "wheel barrow" some of the smaller "chores" could not get done around the"farm"
Added by: Bob
Cool poem, means that society should look at the simple things in a time of technoloical changes
Added by: ryan
Anyone notice how the two lines per stanza are shaped like a wheelbarrow?
Added by: Kerry
I read this poem as telling us that really we have very little control over our lives -- something of a "if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil and a tidal wave rises in the Pacific" thing. The wheelbarrow is not apparently doing anything. So, Williams is saying everything depends on nothing.
What it's about
Added by: Phil Hey
Everybody's comment is a little bit right. Ezra Pound (a poet and friend of WCW) said "The natural object is always the adequate symbol." WCW was a doctor always faced with death. What he sees here are things that will continue regardless of someone's death. Medidate on his use of the word "depends".
Old McDonald
Added by: Ian Walker
Would it make a difference if the wheelbarrow was white, the chickens red and there was snow falling?
WCW once said, "the objects of our perceptions vary according to the number of eyes we have. Mine are green."
I like this poem because my uncle Bernie once took me for a ride in a red wheelbarrow. We didn't see any chickens, though. But it was raining.
So much depends...
Added by: Preston Grey
upon ignorance for its appreciation. This poem a prime example, a spittle of pablum sadly presaging newage yucca. WCW was apparently a fine doctor but could make no use of the instrument of Poetry, in my elevated opinion. This poem almost begged to be anthologized, and so was--it almost screams "Borders", now, or "If you liked "Red Wheelbarrow" you might try these, too! (the rest should be silence, but isn't)

WCW, cummings and Plath: the three great frauds in the Canon. Bang.
To Preston Grey:
Added by: Jough (Editor)
That's a bit of a radical view, which you conveniently do not back up with any examples or explanations.

If you'd like to expand on your views in an essay, and can back up your claims with examples, and an explanation as to WHY you feel you're right, we'd be happy to publish it.

Let me know if you're interested.

-- Jough

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