Tuesday, November 15, 2005

To a Poor Old Woman by William Carlos Williams

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

Comforted
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her


This poem found on a website by William Carlos Williams is an interesting poem because of the repeated lines and simplistic picture it presents. As the poem starts out, it talks about a woman who munches on a plum. This plum is really good to hear and an observer can tell by the way she eats it. The woman eating the plum is comforted by the plum that she is eating as well as the bag of plums that she carries. The second stanza of the poem is just one phrase that is repeated twice. This stanza seems slightly odd to me because it is just a phrase that is repeated. The speaker possibly wants to emphasize the fact that "they taste good to her," because of the constant repetition. In the first stanza, when the author chooses not to capitalize the first letter of the first word, it kind of creates a different appearence of the poem. I kind of get the understanding that by not capitalizing the first word of the poem to make it seem as if it is starting a new sentence, it really isn't capitalized so that the title of the poem can be read as a connected piece to the poem. With this poem barely having any punctuation to begin with, I think it adds to the speaker's perspective of things. As the speaker is just simply an onlooker of this poor old woman, it could possibly be a different meaning to the story, the figurative meaning of the poem that is. It is possible that the speaker is trying to tell his/her audience to indulge in what you already have and in this case, the poor old woman loves what she has, which is a plum.

2 Comments:

Blogger Julie Mong said...

This poem is so simple and interesting to read. I like the way the author repeated that the plums taste good to the character in the poem. It brings the character from this world into a world of her own where she is just enjoying the sweet tastes of her plums. A feeling expressed in a poem. I wonder how old this person is.

7:05 PM  
Blogger John Park said...

I love the way Williams writes. From the two poems I've read of his, it seems as though he likes to write very simply, while using words which were are pleasing to the ear. Both poems dealt with eating plums, a very common event. However, it is the manner in which he writes his poem which gives this simple action a sense of importance.

11:46 AM  

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