Thursday, September 9, 2010
A Widow's Purpose
Although there were probably many motivations for William Carlos Williams's (ha! his name is William Williams!) writing of "The Widow's Lament In Springtime", I thought that the purpose was for the speaker to deal with her sorrow and grief over the loss of her husband. Spring is normally perceived as a happy time of year, and this literary work put a negative spin on commonly cheerful aspects admired in nature. This made the speaker more relatable to the reader because springtime is when people are supposed to be happy, but sometimes in life there are circumstances in which people cannot be. The woman in the poem is clearly devastated over the loss of the love of her life. She no longer seems to have the will to live. Quite honestly, I found the speaker to be somewhat suicidal. If it weren't for the presence of her son, I'm not sure she would have found reason to go on. The references to her yard and the meadows also stood out to me. The widow spoke of how her yard used to bring her comfort when she spent time there with her husband, but not any longer. Through the opening lines, she wastes no time in admitting that "sorrow is my own yard... with the cold fire that closes round me this year", demonstrating her misery. When the meadows are referenced, she seems to like the idea of them because they are new and open spaces in which she has no memories to remind her of her loss. The recurring symbol of the white flowers also stood out to me. Right down to the last lines where the widow admits, "I feel that I would like to go there and fall into those flowers and sink into the marsh near them" she makes continual links to the white flowers and her husband. At the end, I take it as her way of saying she wishes she could join her husband and die along with him.