Poetry Friday: 1921 (part 2)

Being still in The Age of Innocence, Poetry Friday will remain in 1921.  I’m sorry it’s so late on Friday–long-term subbing is definitely draining reading and blogging time, but I’m staying in this game, I promise you!  The following poem is by William Carlos Williams, from his collection, Sour Grapes.  I hope you have some reactions to it—have an excellent Labor Day weekend regardless (and I hope to post again at least once before it’s over!).

“To Waken an Old Lady”

Old age is
a flight of small
cheeping birds
bare trees
above a snow glaze.
Gaining and failing
they are buffeted
by a dark wind—
But what?
On harsh weedstalks
the flock has rested,
the snow
is covered with broken
and the wind tempered
by a shrill
piping of plenty.


2 comments on “Poetry Friday: 1921 (part 2)

  1. Bonnie Hood says:

    I generally love Williams (especially that his poems were short because he wrote them on a doctors pad at work–love that!) but this one…old age? I’m not getting the metaphor. It’s pretty, but….

    • jwrosenzweig says:

      I have to agree, I think. WCW is all about image—most famously the red wheelbarrow, of course—but there are times when a pretty image is merely that. How are these birds like old age? And the title implies a waking up, which the poem does not really suggest for me. I feel like there must be something intended here, but it’s not breaking through.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s