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Poem To Elsie - Essay Example

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Poem To Elsie

The diction is often general and seemingly flaccid; "devil-may-care men who have taken / to railroading / out of sheer lust of adventure," or "young slatterns, bathed / in filth." Its major focus is the speaker himself, who sums up in swift, passionate, and broken utterance the human condition in which he participates. (Axelrod, Roman, Travisano, 86-87)
Along the texture of the development of the poem the gradual ascendancy evokes enlightened pastures when it says "some doctor's family, some Elsie/voluptuous water/expressing with broken/brain the truth about us/her great ungainly hips and flipping breasts/addressed to cheap /jewelry/and rich young men with fine eyes/ as if the earth under our feet/were/an excrement of some sky", the poem describes Elsie's body and alert us that the female body linked to the hierarchies of the country, the class and the gender in the culture. (Axelrod, Roman, Travisano, 86-87)
Like most of William Carlos Williams's poems 'To Elsie' is revealed in a formation of translucent transparency which in retrospect is represented in the most punctual truthfulness to the point of honesty. In this context it should be remembered that the Williams poems are uniquely honest towards itself and they reveal everything that is possibly expressible though words. This honesty in words is deeply felt when Williams narrates in the last lines of the poem almost in a circumstantial detached mood. "It is only in isolate flecks that / something / is given off / No one / to witness / and adjust, no one to drive the car. (Axelrod, Roman, Travisano, 87)
It is so evident in these lines that the poet is viewing the whole scenario as a circumspect manner with a mood of watching the whole expressions as a passive watcher. Going through the lines of the poem 'To Elisie' I was able to feel the pain of the poet is transmitted into the readers' mind through a contour of expressions expressed not only in an honest but in an extremely informative manner. This is because the poet is willing to take himself away from the present scenario as if as a mode of protest against the then present situation which was far from his socialist sense of utopia. (Matterson, 29)
This formation of the poem and the way it builds up from a rather unemotional scenario into words describing the common plight as Americans, at least the America of his time reflects the psyche of the poet time and again throughout the poem with such line that says "as if the earth under our feet/were/an excrement of some sky". It could be found that these are the things which destroy the American dream of the poet's time. Until he can force his imagination to take account of and establish his contact with his own, local, instead of letting himself strain after the other where of "deer / going by fields of goldenrod," until such a time, the American is doomed to go crazy. (Axelrod, Roman, Travisano, 86-87)
Structurally speaking, I felt the form is directly derived from the optimistic philosophy of the life itself thereby placing the entire poem in a simplistic format that blends flawlessly with the apparent simplicity of the poem.
To me, theoretically, Williams's poems are placed in the other side of the coin that is used by the poets like T.S. ...Show more


After reading his poem 'To Elise' I felt that the poet William Carlos Williams is by nature an imagist. This is logical because he is deeply influenced by the works of his friends like avant-garde modern artists Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp. William Carlos Williams is also inclined towards Dadaist and Surrealist principles…
Author : london38
Poem To Elsie essay example
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