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In this essay I intend to comment on and critically assess William Carlos Williams poem entitled To a Poor Old Woman Williams published this poem in 1935 at which point he was reaching the end of what he called his early career During this time he was refining his skills in and learning about the newly emerging methods of composition By newly emerging I mean that Williams was one of the modern American poets who rejected the use of iambic pentameters and rhyme in poetry and determined to rinse the language of ornament and encrustationpg7 Brinnin JM William Carlos Williams Minneapolis University of Minnesota Press 1963 That is he believed in the importance of clarity and precision when representing his subjects The subjects that Williams observes and depicts in his poetry are not unnatural mythical or imaginary but the immediate and localpg8 The everyday occurrences in everyday life were the subjects of Williams interest especially the tawdry vulgarand grotesquepg22 He was interested in the observation without comment using common speech and depicting homely detailspg12 In the Imagist Manifesto Williams together with his colleagues points out the importance of making use of the exact wordpoint1 to express the image he observes Thus it is not only important to read the poem as a complete whole but also to take every word used into account Hence a Williams poem should be regarded as a whole image made up of carefully chosen details The title To a Poor Old Woman declares and reinforces the importance of the womans existence and presence to Williams and the audience She is characterised as the subject the central figure of importance This importance is presented by Williams choice to name her with capital letters It can be seen from the onset of the poem that the poet desired to remain detached from the subject by representing only what he perceived and making no assumptions Thus although it
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