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Romance Moderne Analysis

Author: poem of William Carlos Williams Type: poem Views: 7

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Tracks of rain and light linger in

the spongy greens of a nature whose

flickering mountain—bulging nearer,

ebbing back into the sun

hollowing itself away to hold a lake,—

or brown stream rising and falling at the roadside, turning about,

churning itself white, drawing

green in over it,—plunging glassy funnels


And—the other world—

the windshield a blunt barrier:

Talk to me. Sh! they would hear us.

—the backs of their heads facing us—

The stream continues its motion of

a hound running over rough ground.

Trees vanish—reappear—vanish:

detached dance of gnomes—as a talk

dodging remarks, glows and fades.

—The unseen power of words—

And now that a few of the moves

are clear the first desire is

to fling oneself out at the side into

the other dance, to other music.

Peer Gynt. Rip Van Winkle. Diana.

If I were young I would try a new alignment—

alight nimbly from the car, Good-bye!—

Childhood companions linked two and two

criss-cross: four, three, two, one.

Back into self, tentacles withdrawn.

Feel about in warm self-flesh.

Since childhood, since childhood!

Childhood is a toad in the garden, a

happy toad. All toads are happy

and belong in gardens. A toad to Diana!

Lean forward. Punch the steerman

behind the ear. Twirl the wheel!

Over the edge! Screams! Crash!

The end. I sit above my head—

a little removed—or

a thin wash of rain on the roadway

—I am never afraid when he is driving,—

interposes new direction,

rides us sidewise, unforseen

into the ditch! All threads cut!

Death! Black. The end. The very end—

I would sit separate weighing a

small red handful: the dirt of these parts,

sliding mists sheeting the alders

against the touch of fingers creeping

to mine. All stuff of the blind emotions.

But—stirred, the eye seizes

for the first time—The eye awake!—

anything, a dirt bank with green stars

of scrawny weed flattened upon it under

a weight of air—For the first time!—

or a yawning depth: Big!

Swim around in it, through it—

all directions and find

vitreous seawater stuff—

God how I love you!—or, as I say,

a plunge into the ditch. The End. I sit

examining my red handful. Balancing

—this—in and out—agh.

Love you? It's

a fire in the blood, willy-nilly!

It's the sun coming up in the morning.

Ha, but it's the grey moon too, already up

in the morning. You are slow.

Men are not friends where it concerns

a woman? Fighters. Playfellows.

White round thighs! Youth! Sighs—!

It's the fillip of novelty. It's—

Mountains. Elephants humping along

against the sky—indifferent to

light withdrawing its tattered shreds,

worn out with embraces. It's

the fillip of novelty. It's a fire in the blood.

Oh get a flannel shirt], white flannel

or pongee. You'd look so well!

I married you because I liked your nose.

I wanted you! I wanted you

in spite of all they'd say—

Rain and light, mountain and rain,

rain and river. Will you love me always?

—A car overturned and two crushed bodies

under it.—Always! Always!

And the white moon already up.

White. Clean. All the colors.

A good head, backed by the eye—awake!

backed by the emotions—blind—

River and mountain, light and rain—or

rain, rock, light, trees—divided:

rain-light counter rocks-trees or

trees counter rain-light-rocks or—

Myriads of counter processions

crossing and recrossing, regaining

the advantage, buying here, selling there

—You are sold cheap everywhere in town!—

lingering, touching fingers, withdrawing

gathering forces into blares, hummocks,

peaks and rivers—rivers meeting rock

—I wish that you were lying there dead

and I sitting here beside you.—

It's the grey moon—over and over.

It's the clay of these parts.

Submitted by Bob


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