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“The Red Wheelbarrow” – such beautifully ordinary nouns

You can find the poem here.

I’ve just heard Ruth Padel’s broadcast of the Wordsworth Trust poetry workshop meeting on Radio 4. She talked about the importance of line breaks and used William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheel Barrow” to illustrate how unexpected they could be. What strikes me is how much emphasis these breaks throw on nouns. Three of the four breaks within stanzas come between nouns and their modifiers. Cumulatively this is highly unnatural. Moreover, it leaves each noun forming a one-word line poised on the edge of the gap between stanzas – a gap that itself … Continue Reading