Nov 17, 2011

"Love Song" by William Carlos Williams

Nov. 1, 2011



Amy Lowell, here’s another view of the color yellow, and it’s not entirely different from your take, posted here the other day.  There’s too much of yellow; it eats things.

Ladies, damsels, women, broads, chicklets, has your beloved recently called you a stain? An excess? A smear? A saffron spoiler of all the colors of the world?  If your rake and rambling man, your very own hunkadoobie did call you such things—accused you—did you dig it? Would this poem work for you?  On you?  
Nov. 16, 201


Wannabe poets, have you tried writing a three line poem interrupted by a 14-line parenthesis of emphasis, a bracket of great force, vigor, torque?  Did it work?

William Carlos Williams, how does one decided when a fairly ordinary word, like “heavily,” deserves to be its own line? 



Nov. 16, 2011

Nov. 16, 2011

Nov. 16, 2011

10 comments:

Barbaro said...

I'd have to be pretty far into a relationship before expecting my mate to find that flattering. Or perhaps Mr. Williams is being ironical with his title.

Yellow has its downsides, I suppose, but my view of the color overall is much less jaundiced (ha HA!).

Note comment on previous post.

RuneE said...

If I had come up with that list you presented, my wife would have looked long and hard at my daily intake of medicines :-)

On the other - photographically speaking - I'm much more afraid of too much red than too much yellow. Your own photos have caught it just right.

Hannah Stephenson said...

The poem is surprisingly romantic!

Absolutely, this poem seems very sweet--I like the jarring word choices.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

my beloved has never called me a stain but a properly stain canvas isn't a bad thing. I do like your description of yellow as a color that eats things. That gives me pause

altadenahiker said...

He's not calling the person those names, but the emotion, right? The way passionate love shoulders its way in, takes up all the room until you can only see and hear one thing in the world.

gothpunkuncle said...

I think "stain" is perfect:the permanence, the accidental nature. We stain and polish fine woods so they'll please us in a domestic setting, right? (Of course, I may have been dabbed with a little something over the last couple weeks... Fill you in soon.)

Wasn't WCW an early American reader of Neruda? This poem makes me think so.

Banjo52 said...

I'm interested that all three women so far are OK with WCW's friskiness, while 2 of 3 men are a little iffy. AH makes an important distinction between the lover and the condition of love. Hannah, "jarring" is exactly what I was hearing--in a good way. PA, just paraphrasing WCW with "eating"--isn't it interesting how aggressive "eating" can sound. Also, I like AH's "shoulders" its way . . . GPU and PA, I hadn't thought of intentional stainings or the aspect of permanence. Nice.

I often like/respect/prefer writing that recognizes the ambiguity in important experiences, scenes, etc. I think WCW has caught at least two seemingly contradictory aspects of love--its aggressive imperialism and yet its saturated, if excessive beauty. Even if yellow "eats" leaves and "smears" saffron, the purple sky is "smooth," and "horned branches" are softened by the smear. And who would happily choose against "honey-thick" or "wine-red selvage"? The more I read the poem, the more I like it.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Maybe the first line sidetracks me. He lies there, thinking of her. Hmmm, sounds nice. Their love has left an impression on the world!
But is she now where the leaves are red, and he is where the leaves are yellow?
The stain is their love. That alone makes it romantic instead of icky.
Maybe.

Yellow leaves seem so much closer to death/to falling then red leaves. And I love the photo you had a few posts back (Amy Lowell post) of the RED RED leaves. OH, lovely.

Banjo52 said...

"Maybe." Biggest word in any language?

Brenda's Arizona said...

I can't resist saying that the first time I read this, I thought WCW was angry and that this was a very angry poem.

The stain of love is like blood. Just the fact that it is a stain makes it bad news. And yellow, yellow, yellow... it EATS into the leaves, just like something evil eats into your mind, your soul.
The stain comes back, that awful stain, blocking out the light. The stain damages everything. It 'spoils the colors of the whole world'.
And 'she' is far off. Probably lucky that she is! I'm afraid WCW would shoot her, staining her shirt with the evil he feels.

Ok, that is what I thought.

Lovers' Lane