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William Carlos Williams - Complaint

They call me and I go.
It is a frozen road
past midnight, a dust
of snow caught
in the rigid wheeltracks.
The door opens.
I smile, enter and
shake off the cold.
Here is a great woman
on her side in the bed.
She is sick,
perhaps vomiting,
perhaps laboring
to give birth to 
a tenth child. Joy! Joy!
Night is a room
darkened for lovers,
through the jalousies the sun
has sent one golden needle!
I pick the hair from her eyes
and watch her misery
with compassion.

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Added: May 7 2003 | Viewed: 1690 times | Comments and analysis of Complaint by William Carlos Williams Comments (3)

Complaint - Comments and Information

Poet: William Carlos Williams
Poem: Complaint
Poem of the Day: May 10 2011

Comment 3 of 3, added on December 21st, 2014 at 6:49 PM.

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Comment 2 of 3, added on February 5th, 2009 at 7:54 PM.

The title suggests the double meaning of the nature of the complaint. That is, the narrator's complaint of being called away from his own life to tend to the medical complaint of one of his patients. Initially, he goes because it is his duty: "they call me and I go." It is a cold night and he must drive on a "frozen road," but he is a man who lives up to his obligations> He will not let those he is tending see his annoyance at being called out. He will "smile, enter and shake off the cold" when he gets there. Inside his resentment bubbles up. The middle of the poem focuses on his own interior complaints, but by the end he is kind toward his patient "picking hair from her eyes" and watching over her "with compassion."

Denise from United States
Comment 1 of 3, added on February 5th, 2006 at 11:36 AM.

this poem was very interesting at first i thought it was a complaint

Ale from United States

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