The Essential Red Wheelbarrow

Posted on June 6, 2011

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I have been pondering and toying with the idea of playing with some more William Carlos Williams. “Red Wheelbarrow” has been on my mind a lot lately. It is such a simple concept but it is loaded with so much literary nutrition. The imagery, the use of enjambment, and the tone…. There is so much to digest in this poem, this sentence.

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

“Red Wheelbarrow” has always rang much more prosaic than poetic to my intense ear/eye. The line between prose and poetry is definitely a fine one. The feelings that it causes to settle within my insides is definitely a poetic sensation (I call it my sixth sense), but visually it gives me a prosaic feel. “Red Wheelbarrow” truly is the perfect blend between the two.

The use of ending punctuation brings me to conclude prose. The lack of punctuation and the form bring me to conclude poetry. The period signals a completion of an image and the end of a grammatical (loosely used, since the enjambment and stanza use can be viewed as commas) sentence.

What type of imagery laden words can you create? What would your version of “Red Wheelbarrow” look like?

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