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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

"The Red Wheelbarrow" features a single sentence divided up into four couplets (a couplet is a stanza composed of two lines). On its own, the sentence reads, "so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow...

Speaker

Our speaker is invisible. We know he is wise, because he apparently knows what depends upon a red wheelbarrow, while we are stumped. We know he is an appreciator of life, and, in particular, of the...

Setting

It's a boring, rainy day. We can't go out and do chores on the family farm, because it's way too wet. So, we are stuck indoors. We're staring out the kitchen window (because maybe our Scrabble game...

Sound Check

To us, this poem sounds like a gentle rain that has just let up. You know the sound. There is no longer the consistent tap-tap-tap of raindrops, but there is the occasional plop of a raindrop tumbl...

What's Up With the Title?

To tell the truth, "The Red Wheelbarrow" was originally untitled. It appears in Williams's collection of poems and prose Spring and All as simply XXII, or number 22. Over time, however, the poem ha...

Calling Card

Unlike many of his contemporaries (T.S. Elliot, Ezra Pound, et.c), William Carlos Williams wasn't into writing complex poems that take the reader a lot of work to unlock and digest. In fact, he cri...

Tough-O-Meter

While this poem might at first have you slapping your forehead, shouting, "What in the name of Shmoop is this poem even about?" we promise it will open up like a morning glory in the morning. Just...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

Move along. There's nothing to see here.
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