The Red Wheelbarrow Essay Research Paper William

The Red Wheelbarrow Essay, Research Paper

William Carlos Williams was an imagist poet; he wanted to revision poetry in America. His whole theme dealed with visions and images. He opposed general statements and abstract ideas. His poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” was filled with images and ideas that made the poem so easy to visualize.

I believe that this poem is about perfection. The second and third stanza’s, “a red wheel/ barrow/ glazed with rain/ water,” provides us with the idea that it has a sufficient amount of water in which to farm. With this excess of water there is no need to worry about dry crops. The “white chickens” in stanza four also symbolize perfection becuase they are supposedly expected to lay “perfect” eggs. All of this leads to the image of harmony in the poem.

The first stanza “so much depends upon” shows that a wheelbarrow is a very essential tool in farming. It is practical a wheelbarrow would be usen on a farm since it can be used for all sorts of things from transporting fertilizer to hauling hay.

I also found that each stanza of the poem is somewhat shaped like a wheelbarrow (if you draw lines in the form of a triangle). This, added to the imagery in the poem, shows the perfection that is found in the structure of the poem because you can actually “see” the wheelbarrow.

With all of the above mentioned, it is obvious how the structure, themes, and images work together. The poem is providing us with a visualization of a wheelbarrow with its description of it and also by the structure of the poem. This subject matter works together with the theme because it is all about images. Like an artist using a brush, Williams paints a picture with his words.

I liked the way Williams provides us with this one clear vision in such a short poem. It seems to link together with the idea of the perfection of images. Whether or not the poet’s intention was to make stanza’s shaped like a wheelbarrow is hard to say, but it certainly does add to the imagery within the poem.


Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Norton & Company: New York. 1998.


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