The Bitter World of Spring 2A

“The Bitter World Of Spring”
– William Carlos Williams
By: Tanya Vargas, Iuscely Flores and Vianney
•Williams uses
philosophical reference
to fish and water to
explain the challenge
both externally and
internally of
understanding a poet.
The first half of the poem uses the nature
imagery of trees and water to portray
“red elms, in perspective, that lift the
tangled net of their desires hard into the
falling rain. “ (3-6)
There is a transition from looking onto land
and questioning himself about poetry
“And, as usual, the fight as to the nature
of poetry -Shall the philosophers capture
it?- is on. “(9-12)
The last half of the poem focuses on the
“close under the bridge, the shad
ascend, midway between the surface
and the mud,” (15-17)
Intent/Affect: Williams
uses third person to
give the reader a sense
that every poet can be
confused and have the
same struggle when it
comes to writing a
• Speaker: William Carlos
• Point of view: 3rd person
• Mood: confused and
• Motif: Continuously looking
around to find inspiration
“ And, as usual, the fight as to the
nature of poetry” (9-10)
Imagery &
Williams wants to
show the readers how
his focus went from
the nature of the trees
to the inspiration he
found in the stream
-Color is used to
emphasize how color
can make things more
• Color Imagery
• white
• brown
• red
• Nature Imagery
• elms
• leafs
• flower
• rain
• mud
• Fish Imagery
• Shad
• Upstream
• Red-finned
Fish Imagery
“ midway between the surface and the mud,
and you can see their bodies
red-finned in the dark
water headed, unrelenting, upstream” (17-20)
Sense :
-Williams is demonstrating the struggle fish
are going through to swim up and have their
Nature Imagery
“pillars of the red elms,
in perspective, that lift the tangled
net of their desires hard into
the falling rain. “ (3-6)
-William is showing imagery of nature to show
an element of strength.
A rhetorical question is
used to emphasize his
confusion to poetry and
what he should write
Stream of
Consciousness is used
to get out Williams
thoughts about what he
is trying to get across.
•Rhetorical Question
• Shall the philosophers
capture it? (11 )
“What is Poetry?”
•Stream of Consciousness
• “And, casting an eye down
into the water, there,
announced by the silence
of a white bush in a flower"
There is no rhyme.
There is only free verse
because it helps to
emphasize the fact that
he does not know what
to write about.
The word "bridge" is
repeated twice ; the
first time he is looking
over the bridge & the
second time he is
looking under the
• Free verse
• Entire poem
• Repetition
• “bridge" (8/16)
“And brown smoke is driven down, running like
water over the roof of the bridge-” (6-8)
“ by the silence of a white bush in the flower,
close under the bridge, the shad ascend,” (1416)
Williams uses
Enjambment because
of the confusion that
goes throughout the
poem with 14 commas
and only 4 periods, he
does this to continue
some type of run on
End-stopped is used to
focus on the main
ideas William wants to
point out.
Structure of the poem
5 Stanzas
4 lines in each stanza
Stanza 3, Line 11: Rhetorical Question
Period at the end of stanza 5, line 20
(Finally Williams knows his point to the
“that lift the tangled
net of their desires hard into” (5-6)
“under the bridge, the shad ascend,
midway between the surface and the mud, “
• Uses nature as a means to carry out
his true thoughts
• “A Widow’s Lament in Springtime”
• Enjambments and end-stops
• “Spring and All ”
• Historical Context: War/ Williams’
experience as a doctor
• World war II: Close to the of the war
• Poem Collection: The Wedge 1944
Make a Haiku about what you see around
the room with your group. We will present
them in 5 minutes.
We see the whole class (5 Syllables)
They are learning something new (7 Syllables)
Now let’s eat some fish (5 Syllables)
Reason for
the Activity
The reason behind the haiku, was not
intended to copy a certain structure
Williams used to write the poem, but
to give the class an example of how
sometimes it is difficult to find
something to write about. For
example, in a classroom just like any
other classroom with 4 walls, and 40
desks, Somewhere in the classroom
one had to find something interesting
to write about.
• Williams
uses nature and fish to
demonstrate the struggle that occurs in
this world; as a poet he is comparing
himself with the fish and nature.
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