William Carlos Williams

(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963 / New Jersey)

The Red Wheelbarrow - Poem by William Carlos Williams

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.


Comments about The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams

  • (10/23/2018 9:30:00 PM)


    The whit chickens representing the white man crakes the wip all day as if there is nothing to do (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (10/23/2018 9:26:00 PM)


    The red wheelbarrow represents the blood of black pepole glistening after the rain as (Report) Reply

  • (9/24/2018 12:15:00 AM)


    is this poem about beer? (Report) Reply

  • (5/8/2018 3:43:00 PM)


    How is this a famous poem I don’t understand why is it so revered I don’t get it at all (Report) Reply

  • (3/13/2018 7:28:00 PM)


    I agree about the reader, replace the video. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Gerber (8/2/2017 5:02:00 PM)


    The person reading this poem is an absolutely abysmal reader. Wm. Carlos Williams would spin in his grave if he heard her read.

    Terrible... Get The Hook.
    (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/28/2016 5:29:00 PM)


    IN ITALIAN:

    ‘La carriola rossa’


    Così tanto dipende
    dalla

    ruota rossa
    d’una carriola

    lucida d’acqua
    piovana

    accanto ai
    polli bianchi.


    (William Carlos Williams,1923)
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/17/2014 3:18:00 AM)


    Williams would probably be amazed if he knew that his reputation as a poet is so dependent upon two of his imagistic poems, this on and This Is Just To Say. For me, they are both truly great poems, among the best by US poets.

    Once I was dictating this poem from memory to a class. Except that I quoted the last two lines as beside the five white / chickens. When a student pointed out my mistake, I realized the picture in my mind was so vivid that I could not forget that, in my imagination, there were five white chickens. (Well, there's also the assonance with beside and white.) I'm not sure whether I should attribute this to the vividness of the poem or the strength of my imagination. Even today, many years later, I cannot recite the poem without seeing in my mind five white chickens picking and pecking on the ground beside the red wheelbarrow. Would that I could just once write eight such memorable lines.
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/24/2014 5:14:00 PM)

    Report mid=5677582
    this poem is terrible Already Reported Reply

  • (6/18/2014 11:40:00 AM)


    ............oh this piece is so imaginative....a red wheelbarrow definitely means someone is going to do some work..... (Report) Reply

  • (4/1/2014 3:56:00 PM)

    Report mid=5677582
    Very good imigery... almost haiku like..I studied this poem in college many years ago and its image has always stayed with me...it's true it gives many meanings to the readers but the poet could have had many ideas, too...many of these poems have a secret meaning..does only the poet know the truth? That's the beauty of writing abstract poetry...the space between the words...and the solid picture defines..we see what we want to see and feel as we want... Already Reported Reply

  • (2/27/2014 7:34:00 PM)


    We had an assignment just recently in my english class for this poem. We had to take the image painted by Williams and create a story around it. It was purely inventive, and despite the consistent image, no two stories were alike. I think that's the real point of this poem, and imagist poetry in general. Even all writing in general, come to think of it. Sure, it may be about something specific, or it may mean something particular to the writer. That will always be a thing. But what is important is that it means something to the reader, and moreso that it means something different to every reader. So I think the utter abstractness of this poem is because we are supposed to give it our own meaning. We are supposed to make it our own. (Report) Reply

  • (2/16/2014 2:30:00 PM)

    Report mid=5677582
    lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol Already Reported Reply

  • (1/7/2014 9:23:00 PM)


    Possible, Billy. However, W.C Williams had a child who was ill. As he sat in the child's room, he could look out the window and see a red wheelbarrow in the yard. As the child's condition worsened, he convinced himself that if the child could only get well enough to walk from his bed to the wheelbarrow without help, he would be okay...

    The child eventually died, so I think the poem is about how we attach such importance to such arbitrary things in our lives to mask what really matters. We try to fool everyone, and in the end we only fool ourselves.
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/7/2014 9:21:00 PM)


    Possible, Billy. However, W.C Williams had a child who was ill. As he sat in the child's room, he could look out the window and see a red wheelbarrow in the yard. As the child's condition worsened, he convinced himself that if the child could only get well enough to walk from his bed to the wheelbarrow without help, he would be okay...

    The child eventually died, so I think the poem is about how we attach such importance to such arbitrary things in our lives to mask what really matters. We try to fool everyone, and in the end we only fool ourselves.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/7/2013 9:53:00 AM)


    This poem is a kind of test. I don't believe I have the definitive answer. I don't believe there is a definitive answer to the poem, but I do believe the meaning is in the nature of a puzzle. As in any puzzle, we know that we must have all that is necessary to know the answer. It is the nature of a poem to have all the right words. A poem is just right. It's self contained. The form of the poem is the key, but WCW violates the form in an subtle way as the poem progresses. I am content to love this poem. My solutions are nearly adequate to account for my love of the poem, but not quite. I believe the answer that fits the form and content perfectly is that WCW has found in a tiny collection of words a trap to set my mind and heart on a delightful search in to the meaning and value of poetry. The form of this poem continues to evolve and to violate my expectations like a great piece of repetitive music which imperceptibly alters into a very different thing. I can't reduce the poem into a smaller form. I cannot solve it. I can love it and it is short enough to live in it's unsolved state as an object of pure poetic joy. It is its own best explanation. It's just right. I love it. The answer to why I love it is the poem itself. Never ever answer the question, Why do you love me? That question is always a trap.

    [Beside the white is fun because it makes me think of enjambment. The syllable counting is fun because it almost fits but never quite what I expect. So much depends is fun because it establishes high stakes. All of the time spent analyzing this poem is fun to me, and all of it is a contemplation of the nature and importance of poetry itself. When in doubt, I have been told, a poem is about poetry. Even Shall I compare thee to a summer's day... is about a poem. I think that. And other stuff like that. I don't know why this poem has special meaning, but I know that it does. I know that because I feel it.]
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/7/2013 9:56:00 AM)


    The wheelbarrow is parents, the rainwater, their tears from raising children, represented by the chickens. (Report) Reply

  • (6/9/2013 12:44:00 PM)


    this poem is about the structure not the content the words are just functional they hold no meanign for the poet (Report) Reply

  • (4/25/2013 9:37:00 AM)


    Dear Alec Whitthohn,
    What a wonderful critique of The Red Wheelbarrow.
    Perhaps you would do me the honour of looking at
    my Voice of Buddha and leaving your comments
    (however critical!) .
    Yours sincerely,
    Robert Ensor.
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/4/2013 2:06:00 PM)


    beautiful in its simplicity (Report) Reply

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# 117 poem on top 500 Poems

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Read poems about / on: rain, red, water



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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