The rain steadily beats down hard on the widows and roof of an old farmhouse. An impatient family sits at the kitchen table waiting for the rain to cease. As the rain starts to let up, the family notices the old wheelbarrow. The color faded and no longer cared for, no one bothered to put the old wheelbarrow inside the barn. Suddenly the family notices something different. The wheelbarrow looks new. The storm had washed away all the dirt and grim. The wheelbarrow is now red again.
As the poem states, “a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water”(Williams). I can picture this in my head. The wheelbarrow was washed clean by the rain, and now is good as new. William Carlos Williams was using personification here by describing the wheelbarrow. I think he is comparing it to a person’s life. In life we become very worn out, we work too much, and get old. We lose our ‘shine’.
“The Red Wheelbarrow” reminds me of something that would have been written by Robert Frost . This is because he uses simple language. The poem is actually one sentence long, broke into 4 stanza, it’s a free verse poem but still flows well. We have disused in class how a young child could be given a Frost poem and understand the meaning. Also like Frost I believe this poem has two meanings. The first is simple, that the wheelbarrow is now clean. The second is much more complexe. Telling the story of how a second chance in life is all you need to make a difference. To have a new out look on life.
Williams, William. The Red Wheelbarrow. 1012. Print.
The crunch of dead leaves is a sound all to familiar to someone that grew up in Illinois. To someone who grew up outside of Illinois it might just bring back memories of trick-or-treating, football season, or various pumpkin spice flavored…everything. However living in Illinois it is just a painful reminder for what is about to happen.
The life and joy in people, along with nature is slowly dying. People no longer enjoy walking outdoors, there are no children playing in the afternoon until the sun falls below the horizon. This is exactly what Ezra Pound was trying to portray in “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” the wife is trying to tell her husband about her feelings on their dying relationship. She is doing this by relating them to the seasons. In the beginning of the poem their relationship is like summer. She talks about how they had fun, “ … pulling flowers….playing horse….playing with blue plums…”(Pound). They were very care free and enjoyed the summer much as a child would.
Later in the poem you can see that their love has begun to die. The wife says, “…The leaves fall early this autumn…”(Pound). Just like in Illinois fall means that the weather will only get worse, it only goes down hill from there. With the husband being on a business trip for the last 5 months. The couple has started a new season of their marriage. The relationship can only get better when the husband comes home. Much like Illinois welcome spring with open arms, she wants to know what way he will be coming home so that she too can welcome him with open arms.
This is a similar style to some of Robert Frost works. Using nature to represent the characters thoughts and feelings. Often dealing with the narrator feeling isolated, this poem also makes me think of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles. The main character Mrs. Wright is thought to have grown so lonely that she changed into a different person and became depressed. I think this sounds much like the river merchants wife. She used to pick flowers and have fun outside, but now she lets the moss over grow and becomes depressed.