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Williams' 'The Red Wheelbarrow'
ANQ (2001)
  • Charlie Sweet, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Hal Blythe, Eastern Kentucky University
a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens. (1923) X. J. Kennedy's note in his Introduction to Poetry helps readers understand a critical question about William Carlos Williams's "The Red Wheelbarrow": why "so much depends / upon / a red wheel / barrow." Kennedy reports that according to a librarian acquaintance of Williams, the poem refers to a moment when the poet was "gazing from the window of the house where one of his patients, a small girl, lay suspended between life and death" (32). Simply put, Williams was looking for perspective. When read carefully, in fact, the poem is not only a statement about the importance of perspective ("so much depends") but an exercise that forces readers to experience actual changes in perspective.
  • red wheelbarrow,
  • williams red wheelbarrow
Publication Date
Winter 2001
Citation Information
Charlie Sweet and Hal Blythe. "Williams' 'The Red Wheelbarrow'" ANQ Vol. 14 Iss. 1 (2001)
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