The Great Figure
A Line Can Be A Single Word
English teachers love to use poems by William Carlos Williams to show that poetry can be super-short and super-sweet. Williams also wrote some great longer poems, but the short ones have become the most famous. He often breaks up single sentences into lines of a few words or even a single word. His famous poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow," begins:
So much depends
In another poem, "This Is Just to Say," he describes eating some plums that were in the refrigerator
you were probably
In part because his line breaks are so unconventional, a William Carlos Williams poem is usually easy to spot.