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Tract Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Carlos Williams Type: Poetry Views: 205

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I will teach you my townspeople

how to perform a funeral

for you have it over a troop

of artists-

unless one should scour the world-

you have the ground sense necessary.See! the hearse leads.

I begin with a design for a hearse.

For Christ's sake not black-

nor white either - and not polished!

Let it be weathered-like a farm wagon-

with gilt wheels (this could be

applied fresh at small expense)

or no wheels at all:

a rough dray to drag over the ground.Knock the glass out!

My God-glass, my townspeople!

For what purpose? Is it for the dead

to look out or for us to see

the flowers or the lack of them-

or what?

To keep the rain and snow from him?

He will have a heavier rain soon:

pebbles and dirt and what not.

Let there be no glass-

and no upholstery, phew!

and no little brass rollers

and small easy wheels on the bottom-

my townspeople, what are you thinking of?

A rough plain hearse then

with gilt wheels and no top at all.

On this the coffin lies

by its own weight.No wreathes please-

especially no hot house flowers.

Some common memento is better,

something he prized and is known by:

his old clothes-a few books perhaps-

God knows what! You realize

how we are about these things

my townspeople-

something will be found-anything

even flowers if he had come to that.

So much for the hearse.For heaven's sake though see to the driver!

Take off the silk hat! In fact

that's no place at all for him-

up there unceremoniously

dragging our friend out to his own dignity!

Bring him down-bring him down!

Low and inconspicuous! I'd not have him ride

on the wagon at all-damn him!-

the undertaker's understrapper!

Let him hold the reins

and walk at the side

and inconspicuously too!Then briefly as to yourselves:

Walk behind-as they do in France,

seventh class, or if you ride

Hell take curtains! Go with some show

of inconvenience; sit openly-

to the weather as to grief.

Or do you think you can shut grief in?

What-from us? We who have perhaps

nothing to lose? Share with us

share with us-it will be money

in your pockets.

Go now

I think you are ready.






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