Love Song- by William Carlos Williams Essay Example
Love Song- by William Carlos Williams Essay Example

Love Song- by William Carlos Williams Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 6 (1587 words)
  • Published: October 12, 2017
  • Type: Paper
View Entire Sample
Text preview

When reading the title, we often associate a love song as something jaunty,pleasureable, and celebrating, or its other extreme, regretting, nostalgic, and full of pity for the singer’s troubles in love. With Williams the singer, the main idea revolves around the concept of an incomplete union in first person point of view, which makes the reading more personal as the reader is using “I” instead you or he. From this concept stem the ideas that this poem is about hopelessness or happiness, communal sex or masturbation.Delving into history, literary techniques, association with the author, and own opinion of it, there is easily more to it than meets the eye. My first and immediate explanation for the poem was an address from one lover to a loved one, where distanc


e became a factor in their relationship. The lover has it far worse than the desired partner and the solitude builds nothing but longing for this person at a time when his love is the greatest.

He says “ What have I to say to you when we shall meet?... I am alone… with my head knocked against the sky”.He further asks, “How can I tell if I shall ever love you again as I do now? ” There is uncertainty because he is wondering over the next encounter with his loved one.

He says, “I lie here thinking of you” and is compelling when he wants the loved one to see him in the 5th stanza and what love is doing to his state of mind. He is hopeless and expresses it by asking questions he is unsure of, conveying his troubled state. Williams enforces imager

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

along with sound effects to demonstrate the despair of the man in a realm that is almost dreamlike with purple skies,spoiled colors, and birds.Stating he is alone and that his head collides with the sky may underline the man’s confusion. He also uses imagery in the “stain of love as it eats into the leaves”, and saffron horned branches, vivid and easy-to-imagine images that captivate the reader. The line stating “a smooth purple sky” and this stain which is “spoiling the colours of the whole world” easily formulate a very distinct picture.

Through consonance words like “eats” and “smears with saffron” become fiercer in the eyes of this lover as they cancel out a “smooth sky”.For those who disagree, it also appears to be about a lover who perceives the world through love which he finds in sunlight. Again through imagery, the yellow stain is the sun’s rays and the purple sky describes a sun set. The colors of the sun are ‘eating’ into leaves and branches with vibrant colors as yellow creeps from leaf to leaf and tree limb to tree limb. This all makes sense seeing Williams’ use of this poem in his 1936 play “A Dream of Love”. In the play Doc, the main character and husband, says “ I wrote this when we were first married.

You were away and I thinking of you.It was just sunset and I was looking toward the horizon where I knew you to be. ” The wife cried out in joy and told him she adored him. Funny thing is, if the play is read more in depth, it tells the story of a troubled

marriage, a neglected wife, and a man.

Doc used his poetry to ease the tension of a fight with his wife. Doc had a mistress and all of his wife’s reasons for feeling denied were accurate. What does this say about Williams’ view toward the poem? Ending it “How can I tell if I shall ever love you again as I do now? ” may imply a doubt in whether Doc will love his wife in the future.It is about an imperfect union, which was well used to describe the marriage in A Dream of Love. I say touche to Williams. Another twist to understanding the poem is the controversial, yet substantial argument that Williams wrote this on revolutionary terms.

He was innovative in how he words the poem and what the audience should feel. Much of the poem, while it may concern sorrow or the splendor in love by the memory of a partner, is basically about SEX. It uses images of desire and passion in wanting the presence of a wife/partner/mistress/woman.The first stanza begins by asking “What have I to say to you we shall meet? ” expecting an encounter and thought on what to chat with her about.

Immediately beginning stanza 2 the “stain” is introduced, which easily relates to male, female, or shared semen. Eroticism is obvious with the “horned branches” which are piecing a smooth purple sky, just how a penis “leans heavily” against a vagina. The sky can is also the barrier between the branches and that beyond the sky, just how it can be taken as the inside of the vagina, it can too be considered the outside,

right before penetrating.Saying there is no light puts the situation into an even more suitable location for sex. The honey-thick stain is relevant to the texture of fluids involved in sex and its dripping from leaf to leaf and limb to limb may easily equate leaves to the delicate body of a woman, and limbs to the robust physique of a man. His fourth stanza relates to the events before and during the climax of the man.

He has been “buoyed up” and his head-a name that is used to describe the tip of the penis- has knocked against the vagina-relevant “sky”.In the fifth stanza the surrealism and dreamlike dimension covered in the beginning has its attention shifted to the speaker. He wants her to see him, “dripping with nectar” and finally with his arms and hands idle, implying they were once busied up. The last stanza can either be one of true love for this woman, as he asks the question or one of disposal. He might be saying that he is done with her and doubts he’ll love her after this sex-where his connection to her was greatest. In believing this poem is about sex between two people I can argue that is about masturbation.

All the discussed sexual references can remain the same and the situation can be resituated to happen in his mind. He does say, “I lie here thinking of you” before this sexual dimension is entered. He does say “I am alone” and he does mention the use of his arms and hands finally lying idle after time of activity. Williams also uses onomatopoeia in his “dripping with nectar” and

his head being “buoyed” upward, making the sex more passionate! The reason I supplied 3 versions of the poem was because Williams’ in fact created three versions, the one I studied, being the first.He said in a letter to Harriet Monroe, “ The point is that technically I am only interested in two main stanzas but of course left by themselves, they make a bare looking whale. ” In the first version studied, a final ambiguous question is directed toward this “you”.

In the second version he is more authoritative ending the stanza in an exclamation mark, but really doesn’t say something to this “you,” just describing her whereabouts. In the third version, a question is added. This shows the author’s lack of importance for this “you” lady and his extreme insistence on preserving the poem’s images, seeing he barely changed the body.Why is it important/chose it? I chose this poem because I believe it is vital to read for its substance delivered by its words.

Aside from the fact that sex captivates us all, it just goes to show how sweet, true, false, and even empty a man can be. There is lack of communication in the poem between the partners and I truthfully see this as young girl’s bible to living her sex life. Williams knows this and provides the reader with proof of how complex sex in relationships is, and whether it devalues the meaning of a relationship, or does the man devalue the relationship? Besides gaining very personal benefit from the oem’s example of what a man can “sing” to a woman it also has academic value. It just goes to

show that a poem, if read without preparation, may just as well not be read at all. We see how much outside information is crucial to understanding different interpretations of the poem.

There is excellent use of imagery that literally “creates sensory stimulation, including visual and sound imagery”(handout). Williams creates a paradox with a weight that is actually lifting a man up. This image, makes the reader more thoughtful and forces him/her to be more flexible in reading it.His influences as a Imagist and Modernist poet are obvious as well as his French surrealist and symbolist inspiration as well.

I believe most of us in this room will be confronted with the concept of masturbation, sex, love, fidelity more than once in our lives. It’s not something that we should hesitate to summon up into discussion. If Williams did it almost a century ago, then why cant we? His stain of love is upon the world and upon us- just like a stain is hard to get rid of, so is love. It’s a widespread feeling, but not a widespread discussion as Williams makes it for us in his poem.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds