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
seed husks
and the wind tempered
with a shrill
piping of plenty.

Analysis, meaning and summary of William Carlos Williams's poem To Waken An Old Lady


  1. Dent Craig Sorensen says:

    Mom died Feb 3 of this year from a courageous 40 year battle with MS… at the age of 82. Frail and battered by the coming demise she fought and gained and failed on a life of empty seed husks. And buffeted by a dark wind of what? She finally found the empty that is not there…

  2. Deitch says:

    Why waken the old lady? shes old..just go and destroy her..Love it hate it…I dont care..just please dont do my mom thanks…

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