The Red Wheelbarrow Analysis
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens. The Red Wheelbarrow Summary Our speaker reflects on how important a certain red wheelbarrow is. This wheelbarrow is wet from a recent rain, and there happen to be white chickens hanging out with the wheelbarrow. The End. The Red Wheelbarrow Summary Line 1 so much depends * Our speaker doesn’t say “much depends” or “things depend” or “I depend,” he says “so much depends. ” That “so” makes us feel the gravity of the situation. It’s as though our speaker really wants and needs to drive the point home. The verb “depends” is a strong one too, and one that suggest a that whatever is being depended upon is a pretty big deal. Line 2 upon * “Upon” – what a pretty preposition. And an important one too. So important, in fact, that it gets its very own line. * Visually (on the page) the first line of the poem (which is way longer than this line) actually looks like it’s resting upon the “upon” of line two. The first line depends upon this second line. Hehe. Line 3 a red wheel * A brand new couplet. We’re dying to know what “so much” depends upon – drum roll, please. So much depends upon “a red wheel. ” * A red wheel?
We haven’t seen too many red wheels in our days. * The use of the word “red” really gets our imaginations going, for some reason. We hear the word “red” all the time, but for some reason, this color really sticks out in this poem. Why do you think that is? Line 4 barrow * Oh! It’s a red “wheelbarrow,” not a red wheel. Our speaker just chose to split the word “wheel” and “barrow” up and didn’t put a dash between them. * By splitting up the two pieces of this word, our speaker makes us think about the fact that a wheelbarrow is composed of two distinct parts: the wheel and the barrow (the part you load stuff into).
In some ways, we feel like this couplet looks like a wheelbarrow. * OK, now that we’ve figured out what “so much” depends upon, we’re dying to know what kinds of things depend upon a red wheelbarrow. Um, dirt could depend upon a wheelbarrow. Six-year-olds who like to be pushed around in wheelbarrows could depend upon a wheelbarrow. A person who likes to do heavy gardening could depend upon a wheelbarrow. * What else could depend upon a wheelbarrow? It might help to do some research on wheelbarrows. Apparently, they’ve been around for almost 2,500 years and were invented in Ancient Greece. Why is it important that this particular wheelbarrow is “red”? The redness factor seems to play a huge part in just how cool this wheelbarrow is. Line 5 glazed with rain * A new couplet! * The word “glazed” makes us think of a shiny, glossy, glassy surface. Our wheelbarrow is sparkly from the rain. * Who left this VIP wheelbarrow out in the rain? Talk about neglect. If we owned a red wheelbarrow upon which much depended, we would take better care of it. * But the idea that it is “glazed with rain” makes us think that it looks pretty snappy. Line 6 water Again, we have a one-word line, making it seem like the first line of this couplet (line 5) depends upon this section line. * Again, our speaker decides to split up the word “rainwater” into its equal parts: “rain” and “water. ” Why would he do this? Perhaps to remind us that rain is composed of water? Line 7 beside the white * A new couplet! Here, we’re introduced to yet another snappy preposition: “beside. ” * We’re given some more information about where our red wheelbarrow is and about the things around it. Apparently, our red wheelbarrow is standing beside something white. Talk about one colorful poem. We see the color “white” all the time in our daily lives, but there’s something special about this “white,” just as there is something special about the wheelbarrow’s “red. ” These colors are sticking out in our minds. Line 8 chickens * The wheelbarrow is not alone! Thank heavens. There are chickens to hang out with. * We think it is interesting that the speaker refers to these chickens as “the white chickens” and not as “some white chickens” or “the chickens. ” He wants to describe them very carefully and very precisely. These are some special chickens. Again, the second line of this couplet looks (visually) as though it were holding up or supporting the first line, emphasizing the idea that so much depends upon the wheelbarrow. * Are these chickens part of the “so much” that depends upon the red wheelbarrow? What kind of relationship do you think these chickens have with said wheelbarrow? In a Station of the Metro| | by Ezra Pound| | The apparition of these faces in the crowd;Petals on a wet, black bough. | | | | | In a Station of the Metro Summary A man sees a bunch of faces in the subway and thinks they look like flowers on a tree branch. In a Station of the Metro” Summary Line 1 The apparition of these faces in the crowd; * The poet is watching faces appear in a crowded metro (subway) station. * You wouldn’t know it only from reading the poem, but we’re in Paris, which means that everyone looks really nice. * The poet is trying to get us to see things from his perspective, and the word “apparition” suggests that the faces are becoming visible to him very suddenly and probably disappearing just as fast. They almost look like ghosts. If you’ve ever been in a crowded subway, then you’re probably familiar with this phenomenon. By calling them “these faces,” he puts us right there in the metro station, as if he were pointing his finger and saying, “Look! ” * The station must be pretty full, because there is a “crowd. ” Line 2 Petals on a wet, black bough. * Although he doesn’t say so, the words “looks like” are implicit at the start of this line. The faces in the crowd “look like” flower petals on a “wet, black bough. ” * A “bough” is a big tree branch, and the word, in case you’re wondering, is pronounced “bow,” as in “take a bow. ” * When is a tree branch wet and black?
Probably at night, after the rain. A Paris subway, on the other hand, is always wet and black. * Now, we’re going out on a limb here (pun! ), but he may be seeing the faces reflected in a puddle over black asphalt. Or it could just be a more general sense of wetness. At any rate, the faces in the subway are being compared to flowers on a tree branch. * Another fact to keep in mind is that Japan is famous for its beautiful flowering trees, and considering that this poem is written in Japanese haiku style . . . well, heck, he might just be thinking of a Japanese tree. Helen
BY H. D. All Greece hates the still eyes in the white face, the lustre as of olives where she stands, and the white hands. All Greece reviles the wan face when she smiles, hating it deeper still when it grows wan and white, remembering past enchantments and past ills. Greece sees unmoved, God’s daughter, born of love, the beauty of cool feet and slenderest knees, could love indeed the maid, only if she were laid, white ash amid funereal cypresses. Summary: The narrator praises Helen for her beauty, which he compares to a ship bringing a “weary, wayworn wanderer” to his home.
Her classic beauty has reminded him of ancient times, and he watches her stand like a statue while holding a stone lamp. Analysis: In “To Helen,” first published in 1831 and revised in later years, Poe displays an early interest in the theme of female beauty to which his later works often return. He wrote this poem in honor of Jane Stith Stanard, the mother of his childhood friend Rob, although he later wrote a different, longer poem of the same name to Sarah Helen Whitman. Jane Stanard had recently died, and, through his writing, Poe sought to thank her for acting as a second mother to him.
The Helen of the 1831 poem embodies a classic beauty and poise, and by using Jane Stanard as the inspiration, Poe celebrated the latter woman as one of his earliest loves. Although Poe never explained why he changed Jane Stanard’s name to Helen in the poem, one possible interpretation is that he intended to connect her to the famed Helen of Troy, who sparked the Trojan War of Homer’s Iliad because of her beauty. The remainder of the poem shows a definite classical influence, with Poe’s elevated diction and his direct references to “the glory that was Greece” and “the grandeur that was Rome. He also praises Helen’s beauty by describing her “hyacinth hair” and “classic face,” details that are associated with ancient standards of the female ideal. If Poe indeed intended for the name “Helen” to refer to Helen of Troy, then he has given his character high praise indeed. Along with the ambiguity of Helen’s name, the identity of the narrator is also in question, as he does not have a name or much of a physical presence. He refers to himself as the alliterative “weary, wayworn wanderer” who has returned home, drawn to Helen’s alluring and comforting hearth.
Poe may have intended the narrator to be a direct reflection of himself, who as a boy felt more welcome in Jane Stanard’s house than in other environments. At the same time, he may have sought to depict the narrator as an archetypal man, who like all other men found a nurturing source in a woman’s home. Otherwise, the narrator might be akin to a victorious Greek warrior who, like Homer’s Odysseus, has returned from some struggle overseas. The role of the female in “To Helen” is multifaceted.
In one sense, Helen guards the home hearth in the traditional domestic role of caregiver while displaying a faithful attachment that recalls the idealized love of Annabel Lee in Poe’s eponymous 1849 poem. Simultaneously, Helen is the protagonist’s guide and inspiration who brings him back from the lonely seas, and her depiction as “statue-like” with an “agate lamp” characterizes her as steadfast and dependable. Finally, there are mentions of Naiads, or ancient Greek water nymphs, and Psyche, the mythological woman who represents the soul and who marries Eros, the god of love.
These twin allusions emphasize the concordance between Helen’s outer and inner beauty. As is typical with many of Poe’s poems, the rhythm and rhyme scheme of “To Helen” is irregular but musical in sound. The poem consists of three stanzas of five lines each, where the end rhyme of the first stanza is ABABB, that of the second is ABABA, and that of the third is ABBAB. Poe uses soothing, positive words and rhythms to create a fitting tone and atmosphere for the poem. His concluding image is that of light, with a “brilliant window niche” and the agate lamp suggesting the glowing of the “Holy Land,” for which Helen is the beacon.