While Eliot's lines are structured enough to be parsed, Williams' lines are asyntactic. . The vivid particularity of details is muted without the hang and turn and shift of Williams'jagged enjambment, maintained throughout the poem. Frye Williams' Spring and All begins with a straight-forward set of impressions in a poem that moves into a quickened vision, by way of imagination, of what is stirring into being beneath the surface. His initial line, like Eliot's, is grim and arresting; he is taking his cue from Eliot here, but the time of the poem is March, not April, the standard spring month, and a cold north wind is blowing, not the Thracian wind of Ibycus or the Kentish wind of Chaucer or the Celtic wind of Eliot's Tristan und Isolde extract but an altogether unpoetic wind—a Rutherfordian one.
The beautiful butterflies titter Around the light grassy areas. There is no punctuation at the ends of lines, and the syntactic sense often precludes an expected end stop. A Bright Day Smiles delight all around, brightening joy brought to a sometimes dreary, dismal world. The trees are full of lush, dark green leaves. The dynamic locality of the line is as much the native material of Spring and All as America's hospitals or wheelbarrows or its pure products gone crazy.
The images in Eliot's spring lines are sharp and forceful, yet there is no specific setting that gives them locality. When you walk by, their sweet and luscious aromas ensnare you. Instead, there is just growth, which by its very wildness and commonness connotes indestructible, rejuvenative power. I wanted it to look that way on the page. It seems there should be such a thing, but is there? Blackmur aptly described Williams' poetry Form and Value 319.
This process of vision and revision resembles the doctor's openness to his patients attempts to articulate their symptoms. Perhaps it insinuates as well the early American settlers, about whom Williams was writing in 1923; most of In the American Grain 1925 was composed that year: They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. Though its lines are not as dramatically shortened as those of many of the poems that followed it in Spring and All. It is poetry as transcript, poetry as unreeling film which means to tell us that the essential reality of spring is its nowness. Williams' line is shorter, tenser, more nervous; the enjambment cuts and splices the grammatical elements of the sentence, using the highlighting at the beginning and end of the verse to focus on the discrete but related elements of the re-created scene.
In the transition from perception to imagination, reality isn't changed but more fully and imaginatively entered. Copyright © 1997 by Associated University Presses. The descriptiveness of the verses seems straightforward but is actually a carefully contrived verbal effect. There is also compassion for the new, delicate sprouts that emerge from the process. The brownish sand is warm between my welcoming toes. And his lines are terse to desentimentalize the sadness.
Poetic lines can be described as events because lines of poetry score time. He was referring to the fact that the poem has often been anthologized, which is to say that the poem is neat; it has a beginning, a middle, and an end; it is about a recognizably poetic subject treated freshly but not so freshly as to be inscrutable; it is tame enough then—new but not too new, Williams must have thought—for the academics. The first group of irregular, unrhymed lines seems to gloss The Waste Land, published the year before. Cushman sees the gradual shortening of Williams's line in his early poetry as a key to his developing use of enjambment as a principle of prosodic organization. Its reality can be seen only through the medium of American idiom. Words themselves, divided into phonemes, offer the greatest resistance to enjambment. Poem I, like the poems that follow it in Spring and All, represents among other of Williams' assignments a conscious attempt to externalize the form of the mind's perceptual intake of sense-experience.
Flowers on the Wall I sit staring blindly at the flowers climbing up the wall, grasping the bricks with tensile tendrils of vibrant vines through a tenacity never ending. Although death and decay are ever-present, the promise of new life and rebirth never disappears. The difference is that Williams grounds that perspective in the vibrant language of idiomatic American English. This grouping of successive elements words and events lineations becomes the basis of prosody in non-metrical verse. Though philosophers and psychologists tell us that the mind moving without preconception over the world is impossible, one thing seems sure: to Williams what the eye sees is of great importance, but it is less important than the eye seeing.
Williams focuses on objects that are local and endemically American, objects that most poetry, even Eliot's unpoetic poetry, overlooks. The turn in the poem takes place between the third and fourth verse paragraphs. As a case in point, Chaucer's opening lines in his Prologue to The Canterbury Tales spring readily to the English-speaking mind. In non-metrical verse short-line enjambments determine lineation directly, unlike their metrical, long-line counterparts. The lines of the poem begin to turn on their often deferred fulfillment of syntactic imperatives.
Where, for example, is the hyacinth garden? Williams is on a medical call; he sees the roadside growth from his Ford, and he is trying to take it all in. Heavily resistant enjambment of the sort that characterizes many of the poems in Spring and All lays bare the otherwise hidden fibers of syntax by continually skewing its alignment with the poetic line. Williamss thematic retort to Eliot's more pessimistic vision occurs later in the poem; when in Williams's landscape spring arrives. Thematically Eliot's Waste Land is a redemptive poem too but in the traditionally religious sense, which is too tall a metaphysical order for a Williams' poem. In stanza five a subtle change in tone signals a shift in perspective: Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches Hitherto a literal rendering of a series of visual fixations of objects in fields past which the poet is apparently driving, in this second phase the poem moves into a realm something like visionary personification. Eliot's purposes, of course, are not Williams', and it would obviously be unfair to Eliot to evaluate him in Williams' terms.