Study Guide

The Last Words of My English Grandmother Death

By William Carlos Williams

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The Last Words of My English Grandmother (Title)

The title announces pretty clearly what the poem is about. From the top, we're waiting to hear what the speaker's grandmother is going to say in her last moments, with her last words. Wow, that's a lot of pressure, right? We hope we have something poignant to say with our last words.

I'm all right—I won't go
to the hospital. No, no, no (11-12)

The grandmother is not alone in her fear of the hospital. A lot of people are afraid of the hospital because unfortunately hospitals are the places where a lot of people take their last breaths. It's a little ironic, right? Hospitals are places of healing and the renewal of life, but inevitably they also become associated with death.

Trees? Well, I'm tired
of them and rolled her head away. (39-40)

And here they are, the grandmother's last words. We have to say, we think she goes out in style. She doesn't go out begging desperately to stay in the land of the living. Instead, she says "whatevs" to the world and heads off for whatever's next.

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