what The Red Wheelbarrow means to me

The Red Wheelbarrow

William Carlos Williams

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

I am not a literary scholar by any stretch, so whatever I have to say about it should be presumed amateurish, subjective and naive. But I have wondered about the meaning of this poem for decades. The other day I googled and found this discussion and realized how far off the learned mark I am. The scholars go on and on about the imagery and how “three modest prepositions — upon, with, beside — place these barnyard minims in visual apposition, or a kind of contingent spatial rhyme…”

Get the fuck outa here. Sure it’s painterly, and the way the words are spaced is no accident. Bla bla bla. But here’s what it’s about as far as I’m concerned: you can identify a particular thing, or event, or moment in your life as having enormous importance, make it a turning point of the utmost significance. And that event is more likely to have been a random accident than the result of some conscious decision on your part.

Bill of Rights now sounds like anarchy

Now that the Bush administration’s illegal domestic surveillance program has been eclipsed by the false issue of the Dubai ports deal, I thought I’d try to refocus our attention for a second or two by sharing this audaciously radical, subversive, revolutionary little snippet. The most disturbing thing is that in today’s environment, that’s what the Fourth Amendment sounds like. Are you ready? OK, here it is:

The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon
probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,
and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Pretty cheeky, don’t you think?