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Comment 2 of 46, added on October 6th, 2005 at 11:31 AM.
The poet uses words sparingly.But the effect of these words on the reader
is quite significant.The poet creates a pen picture when he describes the
houses of the poor.When the poet was young he wanted to make a mark in his
life as a doctor and a poet.Now as he is capturing details about the houses
of the poor people his past concern in life is no more important.He is in a
frame of mind to accept poverty.The poet does not describe poverty using
descriptive phrases.With the brush in his hand he creates little
pictures.The roof of a house out of line with the ceiling is a stroke in
painting.Similarly we almost see the picture of the out houses built of
barrrelstaves.The last lines are replete with irony.The Nation being vast
,cold and impersonal may not pay any attention to the poverty of these
people.The poet's use of language adds power to the theme.
usha chandrasekaran from India
Comment 1 of 46, added on June 7th, 2005 at 9:47 AM.
This poem is an answer to the notion that only the wealthy have "made
something" of their lives. As the poem opens, the speaker mentions it
being "plain" to him that he must make something of his life as a young
boy. This said, the speaker then proceeds to ". . .walk back
streets/admiring the houses of the very poor". The choice of the word
"admiring" makes it clear that these people's accomplishments are not
worhthless, although many in society may feel they did not "make something"
of themselves. Continuing the admiration, the speaker notes that the
"bluish green" color which weathered property obtains after exposure of the
elements "pleases [him] best of all colors". The final comment: "No one/
will believe this/ of vast import to the nation" implies the opposite--that
it is indeed centrally important. The hard work and accomplishments of the
lower classes are given a great deal of importance. One can only assume
that the speaker admires the accomplishments, much as he admires the houses
and the "bluish green" of the property. Williams has created a poem which
blows apart the idea of what "accomplishments" are, and shows that "the
very poor", too, are worthwhile and admirable members of the nation.
Heather M. Crabbe from United States
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