Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Favorite Poem (1): The Red Wheelbarrow

"the red wheelbarrow"
-William Carlos Williams

so much depends


a red wheel


glazed with rain


beside the white


I first read this poem when I was a freshman, and I remember I hated it. I didn’t believe that it was poetry because it didn’t fit my definition of a poem. But, coming across this again recently, I realize that it actually is the definition of a poem. Williams does an excellent job of describing the image of a flawless red wheelbarrow covered in enough water that it has a metallic sheen next to a flock of chickens. His scene contains no disorder, no evidence of anything out of place. It reminds me of movies that have a setting in which all the colors have no blemishes or mixtures of any kind. Everything in this poem creates the sensation of a perfect world, completely dependent on this perfection; hence “so much depends upon”. Williams is making the argument that we all strive for this level of flawlessness but in the end it just doesn’t visualize itself realistically.

No comments: