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The Ivy Crown Analysis

Author: poem of William Carlos Williams Type: poem Views: 15

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The whole process is a lie,


            crowned by excess,

It break forcefully,

        one way or another,

            from its confinement—

or find a deeper well.

        Antony and Cleopatra

            were right;

they have shown

        the way. I love you

            or I do not live

at all.

Daffodil time

         is past. This is

              summer, summer!

the heart says,

         and not even the full of it.

              No doubts

are permitted—

         though they will come

              and may

before our time

         overwhelm us.

              We are only mortal

but being mortal

         can defy our fate.

              We may

by an outside chance

         even win! We do not

              look to see

jonquils and violets

         come again

              but there are,


         the roses!

Romance has no part in it.

         The business of love is

              cruelty which,

by our wills,

         we transform

              to live together.

It has its seasons,

         for and against,

              whatever the heart

fumbles in the dark

         to assert

              toward the end of May.

Just as the nature of briars

         is to tear flesh,

              I have proceeded

through them.


              the briars out,

they say.

         You cannot live

              and keep free of


Children pick flowers.

         Let them.

              Though having them

in hand

         they have no further use for them

              but leave them crumpled

at the curb's edge.

At our age the imagination

         across the sorry facts

              lifts us

to make roses

         stand before thorns.


love is cruel

         and selfish

              and totally obtuse—

at least, blinded by the light,

         young love is.

              But we are older,

I to love

         and you to be loved,

              we have,

no matter how,

         by our wills survived

              to keep

the jeweled prize


              at our finger tips.

We will it so

         and so it is

              past all accident.

Submitted by Bob


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

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This poem is written to show love in its true form. It can be interpreted differently, maybe it describes the work it takes to not only survive the rough spots of love but to use them to strengthen your relationship, or maybe it is about love that is there but can not be acted upon. However it is interpreted, it is generally a description of the dark side of love, a topic usually never talked about, ignored and avoided, and also the mysteries of love and the happiness that comes out of it in the end. This is shown in the quote ‘Keep the briars out, they say. You cannot live and keep free of briars.’(53-57) and ‘I love you or do not live at all’(11-13). The author wrote this poem to portray the truth about love, its mysteries, and its obstacles. The theme of this poem is whatever wonderful and horrible things love will do to a person, one cannot live without love. The poem describes that no matter how many obstacles and hardships love makes one go through, ‘no matter how, by our wills survived to keep the jeweled prize always at our fingertips.’(80-85). Williams treats love as a something that entrances him and hurts him deeply yet he welcomes love with open arms because to him it is critical to survival.

| Posted on 2011-05-07 | by a guest

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