The Red Wheelbarrow
Who is the speaker? What do you know about him or her?
In this poem, what is the speaker responding to? What event, occasion or memory is discussed?
Choose two or three words that depict the speaker’s response to death and explain what emotion or tone those words convey.
Find an example of a concrete detail (a specific physical place or object) and explain why the author used it in this poem.
How does the author mix concrete and abstract details? (Examples and definitions of “concrete” and “abstract” are in the glossary in your textbook)
Discuss briefly why you chose this poem. Do you think it speaks to you or speaks for you? Why or why not?
The Red Wheelbarrow
The speaker in the poem, The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams is a farmer. Precisely, the speaker is likely a poultry farmer since he talks about chicken and wheelbarrow. The persona does not seem to address any particular person since no one else is mentioned in the poem. Therefore, it can be concluded that he is having a mediation moment or thinking aloud. He is in his backyard looking at the wheelbarrow kept near the poultry house. Next to the wheelbarrow are few chickens huddling about.
The persona is addressing the importance of a wheelbarrow. It is immediately after rains, the farmer looks at the wheelbarrow, which has collection of water in it. He says that he has never realized how important the tool is. He is surprised that his entire life, family members, and wealth depend on the small tool. The wheelbarrow is probably painted red to represent blood. The wheelbarrow is split into two the wheel and the body. Probably, the author intended to indicate that what holds the body finally releases it when an individual dies. The words red and glazed show the authors perception of death. The words depict a dangerous and emotionally engulfing incident, probably death.
A concrete detail that the author uses in the poem is the wheelbarrow, the author uses wheelbarrow to show its importance to his farm work. It is an indication of how something so small can be very important in an individual’s life. I chose the poem since it is simple and has meaning in people’s daily lives. The poem speaks to me. The happiness and our lives are created by simple things in our environment that we hardly realize. The farmer realizes how the wheelbarrow supports their lives in a manner that he had not imagined before.