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An Explication of William Carlos Williams' "The Widow's Lame

            An Explication of William Carlos Williams' "The Widow's Lament in Springtime-.
             Death is an insatiable force that mercilessly alienates individuals from their passions and from that which they have derived joy; it brings with it great despair and uncertainty. It creates in some a despair so vast that they can long for nothing more than relief. William Williams has captured this extreme alienation coupled with the horrible despair it has laid upon a woman in a beautifully poignant poem simple in verse yet vast in emotion. .
             Williams' poem is one of irony and the title of this poem, "The Widow's Lament in Springtime,"" foreshadows the sad irony of this poem very well. It is ironic that a woman is lamenting, or crying out in grief, in a season typically associated with birth, renewal, beauty, and joy. He has created a free verse lyric full of emotion and imagery that aids the reader in truly understanding the widow's despair in spite of her beautiful surroundings and the irony of her lament among them.
             The persona Williams has created in this poem has a pensive and melancholically saturated tone. She begins her lament by speaking of her "sorrow- and identifying it as her "yard,"" an extended metaphor carried through line nineteen that helps one see her yard for the inescapable entrapment it is. She then speaks of her grass and how it "flames as it has flamed often before but not with the cold fire that closes around me this year- (4-6). The term "cold fire,"" an oxymoron, is a significant aspect of this poem in that it simply relays the widow's emotional state while providing the irony a modernist, like Williams, so desires. The word "fire- holds connotations of warmth and brilliance, but sadly the widow no longer experiences the warmth and brilliance brought by the passion and joy she once knew, thus fueling her despair. Also, this fire "closes round- or burdens her, rather than warming her passions.

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