By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

Analysis, meaning and summary of William Carlos Williams's poem Spring And All

10 Comments

  1. ench says:

    The persona seemed like reminiscing all the bad memories he ever had in the past. Telling us how awful was it. But he believe that all the things neither bad or good that may happen has its reason. And the reason must be for good….::))

  2. m.m says:

    in this poem there is a linkage between hospital which stands for curing diseases and the landscape depicted by the poet which is also sick and needs to be cured also the poem depends on the poetry immediate observation

  3. ola says:

    the peom works on two levels simultaneously. on the one hand, it celebrates the “rebirth” of spring. on the other hand, Williams pays tributes to his time as a physician, the time, he delivered over 2000 babies: “they enter the new worls naked, cold, uncertain of all,…”

  4. Alaa' Kayed says:

    although it is said that williams intends to contradict the way Eliot write poetry; in that he alludes to real simple images in life, i dont think that he simplifies his point here. winter and spring in a cycle; one season follows the other. such a simple theme does not need such complication in terms of the diction. he uses colloquial language, however, had he used formal style, it would have been clearer.

  5. Alaa' Kayed says:

    although it is said that williams intends to contradict the way Eliot write poetry; in that he alludes to real simple images in life, i dont think that he simplifies his point here. winter and spring in a cycle; one season follows the other. such a simple theme does not need such complication in terms of the diction. he uses colloquial language, however, had he used formal style, it would have been clearer.

  6. D says:

    Spring And All is a progressive awakening from the dead of winter, transitioning into the life of spring.

  7. Ed says:

    This poem used to seem like just another meditation on spring, and, like Justin, I used to think it was not as concrete or powerful as some of Williams’ best. However, I just read an essay in American Poetry Review that explains how this poem (and the volume it was written as part of) was a response to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land – affirming the power, beauty and rejuvenating quality of the natural world in contrast to Eliot’s bleak, despairing vision. I think it needs to be read in context, not just in the context of a resonse to Eliot, but in the context of the collection “Spring and All.”

  8. Justin says:

    “Spring and All” remains very nebulous in comparisson to other Williams poems. His use of “-ish” and “-y” as suffixes weakens the power of his words. The imagery does little to clarify. Maybe winter lacks clarity. The dreariness of winter leads to a profound clarity in the brigtness of spring.

  9. Joe widener says:

    his use of narrative description really captures the feeling of spring. it moves quick and the newness of spring is easily found.

  10. seif alawasd says:

    the poet seem to be interested in the visual imagery alot by introducing lot of conrary colors and by indicating that life has its power to recreate its self again and again and that what looks familiar in the poem the first 4 stanzas seems to be talking about abarren arid wintery weather that seems to indicate the end but the other last stanzas seems to say that life will recover its powre as a cyclical process and thepower of living is celbrated very much

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