Love Song By William Carlos Williams

1587 Words4 Pages
When reading the title, we often associate a love song as something jaunty, pleasureable, and celebrating, or its other extreme, regretting, nostalgic, and full of pity for the singer’s troubles in love. With Williams the singer, the main idea revolves around the concept of an incomplete union in first person point of view, which makes the reading more personal as the reader is using I instead you or he. From this concept stem the ideas that this poem is about hopelessness or happiness, communal sex or masturbation. Delving into history, literary techniques, association with the author, and own opinion of it, there is easily more to it than meets the eye.

My first and immediate explanation for the poem was an address from one lover to a loved one, where distance became a factor in their relationship. The lover has it far worse than the desired partner and the solitude builds nothing but longing for this person at a time when his love is the greatest. He says " What have I to say to you when we shall meet?... I am alone" with my head knocked against the sky”. He further asks, “How can I tell if I shall ever love you again as I do now?” There is uncertainty because he is wondering over the next encounter with his loved one. He says, “I lie here thinking of you” and is compelling when he wants the loved one to see him in the 5th stanza and what love is doing to his state of mind. He is hopeless and expresses it by asking questions he is unsure of, conveying his troubled state. Williams enforces imagery along with sound effects to demonstrate the despair of the man in a realm that is almost dreamlike with purple skies,spoiled colors, and birds. Stating he is alone and that his head collides with the sky may underline the man’s confusion. He also uses imagery in the “stain of love as it eats into the leaves”, and saffron horned branches, vivid and easy-to-imagine images that captivate the reader. The line stating “a smooth purple sky” and this stain which is “spoiling the colours of the whole world” easily formulate a very distinct picture. Through consonance words like “eats” and “smears with saffron” become fiercer in the eyes of this lover as they cancel out a “smooth sky”.

For those who disagree, it also appears to be about a lover who perceives the world through love which he finds in sunlight.
Open Document