William Carlos.

Essay by tallboyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, June 2003

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In the William Carlos Williams' film, Hugh Kenner states that, "For Williams, the poem sitting on the page is a visual object, and the way it sits on the page does not necessarily tell you anything about how to read it." The poems "The Wind Increases," and "At the Ball Game," by Williams are two good examples of how he used his poetry as a visual object.

In the poem "The Wind Increases," Williams uses breaks and spaces between lines and words in order to give a scattered appearance to the poem. At first glance one might think that these breaks and spaces are there for punctuation purposes. But in fact they have nothing to do how the poem should be read. He uses these breaks and spaces in order to somewhat paint a picture. They are there for the visual aspect. The words are placed on the page in order to give an image of leaves being scattered around by the wind, hence the title.

He also uses black marks in various places throughout the poem. These are called ellipses. They are used to let the reader finish the thought on his/her own, or in this case they could possibly represent missing words, completely blown away by the wind.

This poem seems to be about scattered thoughts of a scattered life. Like the leaves on the ground, trying to stay in one place but are constantly being blown by the wind to another location. His thoughts and his life are in constant motion, never stable.

The randomness of the placement of words in this poem is as random as the progression of his life. Things happen in everybody's life that can "blow" you off course. Williams uses the placement of words to symbolize the movement of life.

In "At the Ball Game," Williams sets the lines of the poem up to look like the scoreboard of a baseball game. There are two short lines in each stanza. Each line represents a score for each team, with a space separating the innings. By doing this, it gives the reader a feeling of being at a baseball game. He begins the poem with the crowd entering the ballpark "uniformly," and by using short two line stanzas; the rest of the poem reads like a baseball game would be played.

The poem seems to simply be about baseball, Williams liked to write about everyday life, but it is also about people of all different backgrounds coming together "by a spirit of uselessness," to celebrate the same excitement, baseball. By placing the words the way he did he gives the reader an immediate picture of a baseball game before the poem is even read.

William Carlos Williams definitely did not follow any traditional styles of poetry in these two works. The structure of the poems doesn't even indicate how the poem is supposed to be read. The poems are structured the way they are in order to paint a picture in the reader's head. William Carlos Williams often wrote of everyday life, and the format of his poems help to create a mental picture of the event, taking place.