Study Guide

The Last Words of My English Grandmother Stanza 9

By William Carlos Williams

Stanza 9

Lines 33-36

we passed a long row
of elms. She looked at them
awhile out of
the ambulance window and said,

  • We travel with the speaker and his grandmother in the ambulance. On the way, the grandmother looks out the window and watches the elm trees pass by for a while.
  • The speaker cuts the sentence off at the end of the stanza and leaves us hanging—again.
  • The enjambment here raises the stakes around what the grandmother will say. 
  • Will these be the last words promised by the title?
  • What will the grandmother say about trees?
  • Will she say how nice it is to see the outdoors again after being bed-ridden for so long? 
  • Will she give us some touching story from her childhood about how she played in the trees?
  • Inquiring Shmoopers want to know. Let's hustle to the last stanza.

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