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Poetry has remained one of the most excellent literary creations that are both insightful and enjoyable from antiquity to the present day. Poems have a reflection of many societal events, such as death, marriage, sadness, pleasure, and political issues. The poem Widow's Lament in Springtime by William Carlos Williams is one of the poet's well-known poems that reflects the sorrowful feeling that occurs when loved ones are taken by death (Ploog, & Randy, 122). Additionally, within the poem where the widow expresses her sow over the death of her husband, the poet uses various stylistic devices to pass the message and the theme of the poem.
The poem done by William carols Williams is a 28 lines poem that embraces the theme of death and sadness. The themes are eminent when the widow shows her grief by lamenting over the loss of her husband as the growing plants despite the fact that she died long ago remind her. Additionally, based on the title of the poem, it has the word "lament" which implies sadness and pain that the speaker is subjected to due to the loss of her husband (Ploog, & Randy, 122). On the other, still on the same title of the poem, the theme of death forms in the mind of the reader when the word "widow" comes to sight, an implication that the woman misses her husband due to death. Therefore, the title suggests that death is the main activity envied in the context of the poem.
The poem starts in line one where the speakers metaphorically compare the death of her husband to her yard. The yard is always considered as something that is looked after, and the springs denoted that they must be healthy (Ploog, & Randy, 122). Additionally, in lines 2-4 the persona uses imagery to make her lamentation. Imagery is used to describe the yard and refers to the grass as flames to depict how spontaneous they were growing. However, the seasonality of the grass is also reflected when she says that, as they had flamed before. Line 5-6 depicts the displeasure that the speaker has on the grass, as the grass could not hold any warmth. She feels distant from the new growth eminent in the yard (Hudson, & Marc, 9). Besides, line 7-8 gives information of the duration the speaker lived together with the husband, which was 35 years, and the extent of the heartbreak.
Additionally, lines 9-10 give an insight of the manner in which the vegetation grew healthier with white flowers through imagery. The use of the word bloom indicates abundance, which is contrary to the feeling of the speaker who laments over death. Moreover, the speaker talks about the cherry tree, which also is in bloom, as they are used to depict the way the widow views the world due to the loss. Therefore, most parts of the poem tend to remind the speaker of her past encounter and imagines of the best they had together with the husband. An important point to note is that the theme of the poem depicts the cultural significance in the society where death was regarded as a bad omen and robbed people of their beloved ones.
Various poetic devices are used in the poem like imagery, metaphor, repetition, and personification. To start with, imagery is used in most of the lines to give a vivid description of the yard so that the reader can have the pre-formed image of the appearance of the yard as she tries to make an image of the new grasses being flames. Moreover, metaphors are used in the first line of the poem where the speaker gives a comparison of her sorrow to the yard so that the reader can relate the two scenarios. In addition to the poetic devices is repetition that is used in the poem to make emphasis (Hudson, & Marc, 8). The word gloom is often repeated to depict the abundance of the vegetation due to spring. Personification is giving of human attributes like running and ability to talk to inanimate objects to make the poem have more meaning.
An important point to note is based on the vocabularies used in the poem and the universal language to make emphasis on the theme of the poem (Hu, 34). Some of the symbols used include white flowers that denote the abundance of peaceful life, while on the other hand red flowers are used to depict death as the eminent theme of the poem. Additionally, the vocabulary used in verse is a meadow that bears a meaning a piece of grassland. Moreover, the first line of the poem is of importance because it gives the poem its purpose by making emphasis on the theme of sadness (Hu, 35). Therefore, the verse gives an insight into the pain and gap that was left by the loss of beloved ones, as the speaker delineates the sorrow and pain she undergoes due to the loss of her husband.
Hu, L. "Faint American Poetry, Deep Love of China—Appreciation on The Widow’s Lament in Springtime by William Carlos Williams." Journal of Xichang College (Social Science Edition) 23.1 (2011): 33-35.
Hudson, Marc. "Place and Idiom in William Carlos Williams's Poetry." Sewanee Review 120.1 (2012): 7-9.
Ploog, Randy. "A New Others: The Correspondence between William Carlos Williams and Mitchell Dawson." William Carlos Williams Review 30.1 (2013): 121-136.
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