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.