'Romance Moderne' by William Carlos Williams

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Sour Grapes1921Tracks of rain and light linger in
the spongy greens of a nature whoseflickering mountain-bulging nearer,ebbing back into the sunhollowing itself away to hold a lake,-or brown stream rising and falling at the roadside, turning about,churning itself white, drawinggreen in over it,-plunging glassy funnelsfall-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 ofa hound running over rough ground.Trees vanish-reappear-vanish:detached dance of gnomes-as a talkdodging remarks, glows and fades.-The unseen power of words-And now that a few of the movesare clear the first desire isto fling oneself out at the side intothe 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the car, Good-bye!-Childhood companions linked two and twocriss-cross: four, three, two, one.Back into self, tentacles withdrawn.Feel about in warm self-flesh.Since childhood, since childhood!Childhood is a toad in the garden, ahappy toad. All toads are happyand belong in gardens. A toad to Diana!Lean forward. Punch the steermanbehind the ear. Twirl the wheel!Over the edge! Screams! Crash!The end. I sit above my head-a little removed-ora thin wash of rain on the roadway-I am never afraid when he is driving,-interposes new direction,rides us sidewise, unforseeninto the ditch! All threads cut!Death! Black. The end. The very end-I would sit separate weighing asmall red handful: the dirt of these parts,sliding mists sheeting the aldersagainst the touch of fingers creepingto mine. All stuff of the blind emotions.But-stirred, the eye seizesfor the first time-The eye awake!-anything, a dirt bank with green starsof scrawny weed flattened upon it undera weight of air-For the first time!-or a yawning depth: Big!Swim around in it, through it-
all directions and findvitreous 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'sa 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 concernsa woman? Fighters. Playfellows.White round thighs! Youth! Sighs-!It's the fillip of novelty. It's-Mountains. Elephants humping along
against the sky-indifferent tolight withdrawing its tattered shreds,worn out with embraces. It'sthe fillip of novelty. It's a fire in the blood.Oh get a flannel shirt], white flannelor pongee. You'd look so well!I married you because I liked your nose.
I wanted you! I wanted youin 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 bodiesunder 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 ortrees counter rain-light-rocks or-Myriads of counter processionscrossing and recrossing, regainingthe advantage, buying here, selling there
-You are sold cheap everywhere in town!-lingering, touching fingers, withdrawinggathering forces into blares, hummocks,peaks and rivers-rivers meeting rock-I wish that you were lying there deadand I sitting here beside you.-It's the grey moon-over and over.It's the clay of these parts.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Poetry, Romance Moderne by William Carlos Williams

Poetry, Romance Moderne is a classic poem written by William Carlos Williams. In this poem, Williams presents a unique interpretation of love and romantic relationships. Through his use of language, imagery, and symbolism, Williams offers a thought-provoking perspective on the complexities of human emotion.

The poem begins with a stark image of two people lying in bed, their bodies intertwined. Williams describes the scene in vivid detail, using language that is both sensual and raw. He writes, "Two bodies lying naked and apart / Two souls touching without touching." This opening stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which explores the tension between physical and emotional intimacy.

As the poem progresses, Williams delves deeper into the emotions that drive human relationships. He describes the intense desire that two people feel for each other, and the fear that comes with opening oneself up to another person. He writes, "Desire is love / And fear is love / But no / Not love: they stand beside it / Like the two ropes on a ship / Holding it steady in the storm."

This comparison of love to the ropes on a ship is a powerful metaphor that speaks to the fragility of human relationships. Just as the ropes keep the ship steady in the midst of a storm, love can provide a sense of stability and security in the midst of life's challenges. But like the ropes, love can also be frayed and worn down over time, leaving the ship vulnerable to the elements.

One of the most striking aspects of this poem is the way Williams uses language to evoke a sense of intimacy and vulnerability. He writes, "We are not even touching / Our remotest beings tremble / As if somewhere / The Master Musician / Plucking the strings / of our souls."

This image of two people who are physically distant but emotionally connected is a powerful one, and it speaks to the way that love can transcend physical boundaries. Williams suggests that even when two people are not touching, they can still feel a deep connection to each other.

Throughout the poem, Williams also explores the idea of time and its impact on human relationships. He writes, "Time is the fire in which we burn / As we grow closer to each other / And further away from ourselves." This idea of time as a destructive force that can pull us away from ourselves and from those we love is a sobering one.

Yet despite the challenges that love and relationships can present, Williams ultimately presents a hopeful view of human connection. He writes, "We are nothing / But the sum of our loves / Our past and future selves / Entwined in an eternal embrace."

This final stanza suggests that even though love can be fraught with difficulty, it is ultimately what defines us as human beings. Our connections to others, both past and present, are what give our lives meaning and purpose.

In conclusion, Poetry, Romance Moderne is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the complexities of human relationships. Through his use of language, imagery, and symbolism, Williams offers a unique perspective on love and the emotional bonds that connect us to one another. While the poem acknowledges the challenges that love can present, it ultimately presents a hopeful view of human connection and the enduring power of love.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Romance Moderne: A Masterpiece of Modernist Poetry

William Carlos Williams, one of the most prominent poets of the 20th century, is known for his innovative and experimental approach to poetry. His work, Poetry Romance Moderne, is a prime example of his unique style and mastery of modernist poetry.

The poem, which was first published in 1917, is a complex and multi-layered work that explores themes of love, desire, and the human condition. It is composed of 14 stanzas, each consisting of four lines, and follows a strict rhyme scheme of ABAB.

At first glance, the poem appears to be a simple love poem, with the speaker expressing his desire for a woman. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that the poem is much more than that. It is a meditation on the nature of love and desire, and the ways in which they shape our lives.

The poem begins with the speaker declaring his love for the woman, saying, "I love you, sweet, in all your moods." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is filled with vivid and sensual imagery that captures the intensity of the speaker's desire.

Throughout the poem, the speaker uses a variety of metaphors and symbols to convey his feelings. For example, he compares the woman to a "rose" and a "star," both of which are traditional symbols of beauty and love. He also uses the image of the "sea" to represent the vastness and depth of his emotions.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of language. Williams was known for his use of everyday language in his poetry, and Poetry Romance Moderne is no exception. The poem is filled with simple, direct language that is both accessible and powerful.

For example, in the second stanza, the speaker says, "I love you, sweet, in all your moods, / Your laughter and your tears." This line is both straightforward and emotionally resonant, capturing the complexity of love and the ways in which it encompasses all aspects of a person's being.

Another notable aspect of the poem is its structure. The strict rhyme scheme and four-line stanzas give the poem a sense of order and symmetry, while the enjambment (the continuation of a sentence or phrase from one line to the next) creates a sense of fluidity and movement.

The poem also contains several instances of repetition, which serve to reinforce the speaker's feelings and create a sense of rhythm and momentum. For example, the phrase "I love you, sweet" is repeated several times throughout the poem, each time with a slightly different emphasis.

Overall, Poetry Romance Moderne is a masterful work of modernist poetry that explores the complexities of love and desire in a way that is both accessible and profound. Williams' use of language, imagery, and structure combine to create a poem that is both beautiful and thought-provoking.

In conclusion, if you are a fan of modernist poetry or simply appreciate beautiful and evocative writing, Poetry Romance Moderne is a must-read. It is a timeless work that continues to resonate with readers today, and a testament to the enduring power of poetry to capture the essence of the human experience.

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