If you’ve read this blog for awhile (meaning its predecessor blog), you may recall that I like William Carlos Willams’ poetry, especially The Red Wheel Barrow. Sometimes, out of the blue, I think of this poem. The inexplicable beauty of it always makes me smile. And, it exemplifies what Archibald MacLeish wrote about poetry in Ars Poetica: “a poem should not mean/but be”.
One of the people I am a “fan” of on Facebook is Roger Ebert. He always posts something interesting. One of today’s links was to his SunTimes blog, Roger Ebert’s Journal. The topic? The Red Wheel Barrow. Take about 20 minutes to check out the various YouTube links and art work he has posted, all referencing WCW’s wonderful poem. If you don’t have 20 minutes, you can split it into smaller 2 – 3 minutes segments, but Come On!, it’s only 20 minutes and you’re already meandering through blogs anyway: check it out!
Back in 2005, I wrote my own Red Wheel Barrow influenced poem, reprinted below. My son was 17 when I wrote this. I wonder what his 23-year old self would think of it now?
We asked your opinion and
you said ‘It depends’,
And we both echoed ‘On the red wheelbarrow’,
laughed, exchanging knowing smiles.
You were perplexed by yet
another oddity of adults,
pissed, not in on the joke,
locked out across the dinner table by an age.
Your mom being weird,
reciting poetry or whatever you call it:
another artifact of the cryptic,
illusive world you seek to unearth.
How much you already know about
the world because you know:
there is much to discover,
And that it all depends.