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The Red Wheelbarrow Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Carlos Williams Type: Poetry Views: 1663

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so much depends

upona red wheel

barrowglazed with rain

waterbeside the white

chickens.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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you guys are all stupid and have no respect for poetry or think you just have no time for it. for those of you that actually tried, good job, I appreciate your answers. the rest of you shut the hell up.

| Posted on 2014-10-25 | by a guest


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I find it quite strange that “so much depends” is written right underneath the author’s name. Because of the font and the fact that it is in its own line at the top of the page, I figured it was the title. No, perhaps the XXII in its own line is the title? No, then what are the significance of either one of those, and what IS the title of William Carlos William’s poem?
After searching online, I found out that William Carlos William’s poem was originally called, “XXII”. The significance of that was because it was the twenty-second poem written in William’s book Spring and All. When considering the title of the book, I realized that that is what the poem must have to do with. SPRING!
The first line consists of three words. Those three words pull in the reader and make them believe instantly that a lot depends on something. Those three words are strong and almost convince the readers that MANY things are relying on something.
Line two: “upon”. Upon has its own line… significance? I couldn’t think of the actual significance, but as pointed out online, on something I found, the first line rest upon, upon. I found that amusing.
Line three: “a red wheel”. The color read, I found out, symbolizes passion and urgency and can represent hot temperature which can be connected with spring. Wheel. Wheel? Just a red wheel, or the wheel of something? Symbolically, a wheel represents: unity, reincarnation, and earth's cycles of life. This goes perfectly with springtime! Spring can be defined as the season after winter, when the climate is cold and animals seek shelter and metaphorically speaking, life is put on pause, but before summer, when it’s hot and there’s life everywhere. Spring is when life begins to flourish (i.e. flowers blossom, crops are growing, etc). Line 4: “barrow”. OHHHH… a red wheel barrow! It’s supposed to be wheelbarrow. Why the word split? And why do so many things depend on the wheelbarrow? Well wheelbarrows are used to transport huge amounts of dirt, wastes, animal feed, etc. Possibly a farmer would need it to feed animals?
Lines 5-6: “glazed with rain/water”. Being that it’s spring, spring showers are common and like the saying, “bring May flowers”. So possibly the wheelbarrow appears to be glossy from the recent shower? Why is water in its own line? Well water gives life. Animals and plants need water in order to live! Rain can be seen as cleansing; fresh start; beginning of life.
And lastly, lines 7-8: “beside the white/chickens”. Okay, so the red, rain glazed wheelbarrow that so much depends on is next to white chickens, what does this mean? Well the chickens can simply stand for: life.
The importance of William’s poem is not necessarily the red wheelbarrow. Instead the poem is emphasizing that life is dependent on spring. This is the beginning of the cycle of life; A fresh start.

| Posted on 2013-12-05 | by a guest


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The key is depends. WCW is saying we depend on the mechanical world, weather, life in its many forms. He hides that raw feeling of vulnerability in a pleasing image. But this poems has you hold how risky life is for an instant.
In modern life, how far is systems failure, climate change, and flu pandemic from our daily awareness?

| Posted on 2013-10-07 | by a guest


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Oftentimes ordinary, common, overlooked, and taken-for-granted things are actually quite important. A wise and observant person understands the importance of seemingly common things, and appreciates the inter-dependencies in things that are literally all around us.

| Posted on 2012-03-03 | by a guest


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THis is obviously about men and how the pop the cherry.

| Posted on 2011-10-13 | by a guest


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I think this poem is influences the works of communism. The rise of communism started with the Reds vs. the Whites, or in the case, a wheelbarrow, and a chicken. The chicken is white, which represents life and prosperity, and is a main source of health and protein. The wheelbarrow is glazed with rain, or sweat and tears, that represent the hard working citizens dedicated to the well being of their community. It is also the main object of the poem and is visualized in red, a symbol of communism. The wheelbarrow is the backbone to working and the supporter of communism.

| Posted on 2011-06-29 | by a guest


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William Carlos Williams was also a physician. This poem is about a dying child. He is a master at imagery and uses it to his advantage; the RED wheel barrow- histhe gurney that will wheel the child away, red can either represent red with blood or red with anger or luck into the passage of death. The rain water represents his own sadness and the sadness of the childs caregivers in the form of tears. and the WHITE chickens can be referring to those absent of death, hence the purity of a white chicken- it could be representative of the nurses/doctors (dressed in white uniform) because they are reduced to meandering aimlessly as there is nothing more they can do for the dying child

| Posted on 2011-04-26 | by a guest


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I think that this poem was written to mess with people\'s heads and that everyone who over analyzes this 16 word poem has too much time on their hands and needs to find a new hobby.

| Posted on 2011-04-24 | by a guest


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You\'re all retarded. He\'s an Imagist. The entire point behind them is that their poetry has no metaphors or abstractions. This is literally about a wheelbarrow.

| Posted on 2011-04-15 | by a guest


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I think that it is showing the small things that we need to live the red wheel barrow captures water which is the rain water glazing it and the white chickens might represent life because they drink the water to live.

| Posted on 2011-02-27 | by a guest


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This poem is about white supremacy. The red wheel barrow represents the old-fashioned natives, with their red skin, who will eventually rust and decay, and finally disappear, due to the all-cleansing power of the white man (represented by the rain). The chickens, which differ from the standard yellow color, represent Asians, who must become right and proper by casting away their devilish ancestry by having children with western people, creating proper, white children.

| Posted on 2011-01-24 | by a guest


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This is so easy!!! The red wheelbarrow is important because it is used to remove water from a flood to save the white chickens, which is also why it is glazed with rainwater.

| Posted on 2011-01-24 | by a guest


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This poem is about a battle a young lad endures with a gigantic dragon (the red wheelbarrow). The water represents the warriors sweat and blood that he spills trying to defeat the all powerful dragon. The chickens, white, represent the death the warrior meets while failing in trying to defeat the dragon. . . . . ACTUALLY... I have no idea what this poem means. I believe that the author wrote random words down to confuse people for years. It has NO MEANING PEOPLE!!! It\'s about a stupid wheelbarrow and a dumb white chicken. ACCEPT IT! ACCEPT IT! Don\'t try and make something have meaning that CLEARLY DOES NOT! (:

| Posted on 2010-12-06 | by a guest


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The poem actually goes like this:
so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow
glazed by rain
water
beside the white
chickens
I think that this poem isn\'t refering to the wheel barrow at all, when he wrote this he was standing next to a girl who was very sick. They couldn\'t find a cure and she was dying. He looked out the window and that\'s what he saw. I think it has a kind of double meaning.
Line 1: He is referring to the girl, or maybe the cure
Line 2: on, with, on top of
Line 3: an everlasting war or sickness
Line 4: a burial ground or a buried tomb
Line 5/6: tears
Line 7: she is healed in death as she goes to heaven
Line 8: we\'re all scared to die

| Posted on 2010-10-16 | by a guest


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I think this poem is just a group of random words, designed to make people make up their own random interpretations.

| Posted on 2010-10-04 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem is just a group of random words, designed to make people make up their own random interpretations.

| Posted on 2010-10-04 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem is just a group of random words, designed to make people make up their own random interpretations.

| Posted on 2010-10-04 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem is just a group of random words, designed to make people make up their own random interpretations.

| Posted on 2010-10-04 | by a guest


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I think it means United States patriotism. Red wheel barrow standing for red on american flag and the blood shed by american soldiers. glazed with rain means the blue on the flag it could also mean the 50 states and their fight for freedom. and the chickens also mean the white on the flag.-Tyler Pullen

| Posted on 2010-10-04 | by a guest


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This poem is an allegory for feminism. The red wheel-barrow is a symbol for women because they have to carry large burdens. The wheelbarrow is glazed with rain which represents the sweat that women produce through all their hard work. It is beside the white chickens which represent the foolish white men who oppressed women. (cocks) Honestly, i have no clue as to what this means but i have to do a leadership on this for school and it is very confusing

| Posted on 2010-09-14 | by a guest


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It rained today. I thought of this poem which I learned as a school girl 40+ years ago. It moved me then and it moves me now. For me, that is the purpose of writing and reading poetry. Analyzing it to death takes the joy out of it. If a poem doesn't touch you, read another...and another until you find one that does. We all see the world differently. It doesn't matter what WCW was thinking about the red wheelbarrow. What matters is what he causes you to feel.

| Posted on 2010-06-30 | by a guest


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Inspiration for the poem actually came from a patient's home. He was gazing out the window of a house where one of his patient's, a small girl, lay suspended between life and death. Now that you have the back ground of the poem you can analyze at will.

| Posted on 2010-06-24 | by a guest


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Just because someone has their own interpretation does not necessarily mean that that person is an idiot. I had this arguement with an English teacher after reading "When I heard a Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman. The author may have his own interpretation of what the poem really means but that doesn't mean that someone can't come behind and have their own interpretation. That just means it's good writing.
Oh, and in this poem, I think Williams is just trying to point out that the simple things in life, the things that are often taken for granted, are more important than people realize.

| Posted on 2010-05-30 | by a guest


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This poem really isn't that symbolic of much. He took symbolism and used it more literal. He really does mean a red wheelbarrowwhen he says red wheelbarrow! It's taking the most simple, ordinary things in life and showing their importance. When I first read this in class...I thought it was completely stupid and pointless. But after you actually take it and THINK, it really is a new way of poetry.

| Posted on 2010-05-18 | by a guest


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This poem is about the industrial age, humans have done so much to nature for the pleasure of selfinterset. Thus he brings in the suject of wheelbarrow to symbolize steel and the industrial industry. Overall it is a good written poem.

| Posted on 2010-04-10 | by a guest


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You are all idiots. He wrote this poem then had a group of people just like you try to analyze his poem, which in the end he had explained the same thing I am. You are all idiots, though it was interesting to read all of your analysis' it was written just for the sake of writing it because he was sick of people tearing apart literature and warping it into false ideas.

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


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I believe that the poem is about how we take daily objects such as the wheelbarrow for granted and William just wanted to make a point that things such as the wheelbarrow are incorporated in our lives which allow us to perform daily tasks and without it, it is only then that we truly see how much we depend on seemingly useless objects such as the wheelbarrow.

| Posted on 2010-04-07 | by a guest


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if you've ever written a poem, you'll get this. I write a lot, so this is my perspective. something stressful or wonderful may be happening in your life that you have spent a lot of time thinking about. Then, when you see something moving, visual, picturesque, or artistic, you may relate it to what you're going through in a seemingly simple- but perhaps symbolic- way. you see ordinary, everday events or images and they suddenly become a representation of something in your life, and that's about what I think Williams did.

| Posted on 2010-03-11 | by a guest


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This poem is what Williams intended to be as an object. What much depends on is the connection of humans to life. The wheel and the lever married in the barrow having multiple meanings of "barrow" as burial vault and of resurrection by the laws of physics and human mind and effort. Since Williams intends his poems to be things not about or meaning the poem yokes the image of the words and the image of a wheelbarrow created in profile by the graphic appearance of each two lines. BEAR MANOR 3/6/2010

| Posted on 2010-03-06 | by a guest


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the poit of view i had on this poem is each item reminded me of the Greek gods.
1. blood and red - Hades and Ares
2. white and chickens - Zeus and Athena
3. Rain water and Wheel barrow - Poseidon and the Cyclopes

| Posted on 2010-03-04 | by a guest


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In my opinion this poem is pure stream of consciousness. Williams seems to be remarking on literally what he's seeing at that particular moment

| Posted on 2010-02-09 | by a guest


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I think this Poem is about a boy named Cyrus Jia who goes to AHS, in the poem he has sexual intercourse with a wheelbarrow, and then he bleeds out of his ass onto the wheelbarrow.

| Posted on 2010-02-08 | by a guest


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This is actually a metaphor for communism, seeing the red wheelbarrow as a carrier of new ideas and such. The white chickens are the innocent victims of communits violence.

| Posted on 2010-01-21 | by a guest


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I belive the author possibly had intense sexual thoughts having to do with an orgy of chickens. The wheel barrow is simply his spot of choice to have this orgy.

| Posted on 2010-01-11 | by a guest


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So much depends indeed. I like to view this simply, as a trinity of utilitarian measure: existence, and happiness itself, is dependent upon human nature (the wheelbarrow), heavenly nature (the rain water), and earthly nature (the chickens). All three sustain life and all three, on a farm, exist cyclically in its ability to thrive and function.
The use of "glazed" is sublime. Of course, glazed is also a temporary state that will eventually erode to rust. The rain water that so much depends on will eventually cause the wheelbarrow to rust and ultimately become useless.
By BlueHerron

| Posted on 2009-12-18 | by a guest


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How about the simple fact of the way that the poem is arranged? He begins by saying "so much depends"--the definition of depend is to hang from. The rest of the poem literally depends upon, as well as hangs from, the first line of the poem. Without the first line of the poem, the rest would not exist, from any standpoint, and without the first line as the structure goes, the rest of the poem would not have anything to hang from.

| Posted on 2009-11-11 | by a guest


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i cant believe how many people know exactly when he wrote it hahaa
and every story is different

| Posted on 2009-11-02 | by a guest


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i see this as two wheelbarrows actually having hot sex with chickens, anal style

| Posted on 2009-10-29 | by a guest


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Dr. William actually wrote this poem as he was gazing from window of the house where on of his patients, a small girl, lay suspended between life and death.
I believe the wheelbarrow represents this girl.
Her family depends on her living or part of them will die with her. The little girl dies; a piece of them dies as well. The red represents blood and death. The wheelbarrow contains water on it which makes it glimmer. I see this glaze of rain on the wheelbarrow as hope. The white chickens could be seen as angles, ready to take the child. Like chickens, angles are seen having wings and being white.

| Posted on 2009-10-27 | by a guest


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This poem is primarily about language. When we look at the opening sentence, "so much depends," we see that there is no antecedent to the pronoun "much." What, then, depends upon the image that Williams makes us "see?" Like many of you have noted, we interpret his imagery and see the "red wheelbarrow." Our "interpretation" depends on the language Williams uses to describe his image. Were he to say that so much depends on the black cat whose coat is covered in paint, we'd see a much different image. By writing "so much depends," Williams is telling us that our interpretation depends on the words he puts down on paper and therefore the image he makes us see.
On a somewhat related note, the interpretation is not "left up to the reader." Any great poet intends the reader to see a specific image. Saying that a poem's interpretation is "left up to the reader" is like saying we can read a poem like: "The wind blows the leaves" and say we see a dog riding a bicycle.

| Posted on 2009-10-18 | by a guest




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