A Critical Analysis Of The Poem Entitled "Tract" By William Carlos Williams



Tract
By William Carlos Williams

I will teach you my townspeople
how to perform a funeral
for you have it over a troop
of artists-
unless one should scour the world-
you have the ground sense necessary.

See! the hearse leads.
I begin with a design for a hearse.
For Christ's sake not black-
nor white either-and not polished!
Let it be weathered-like a farm wagon-
with gilt wheels (this could be
applied fresh at small expense)
or no wheels at all:
a rough dray to drag over the ground.

Knock the glass out!
My God-glass, my townspeople!
For what purpose? Is it for the dead
to look out or for us to see
how well he is housed or to see
the flowers or the lack of them-
or what?
To keep the ...

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knows what! You realize
how we are about these things
my townspeople-
something will be found-anything
even flowers if he had come to that.
So much for the hearse.

For heaven's sake though see to the driver!
Take off the silk hat! In fact
that's no place at all for him-
up there unceremoniously
dragging our friend out to his own dignity!
Bring him down-bring him down!
Low and inconspicuous! Id not have him ride
on the wagon at all-damn him-
the undertaker's understrapper!
Let him hold the reins
and walk at the side

and inconspicuously too!

Then briefly as to yourselves:
Walk behind-as they do in France,
seventh class, or if you ride
Hell take curtains! Go with some show
of inconvenience; sit openly-
to the weather as to grief.
Or do you think you can shut grief in?
What-from us? We who have perhaps
nothing to lose? Share with us
share with us-it will be money
in your pockets.

Go now
I think you are ready.


In the poem "Tract," the voice is represented by an ...

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life is judged by the expense of the funeral accoutrements or the quantity of flowers at the funeral. The voice is stating that this shouldn't be a time to judge the value of the dead one's life, but a time to give dignity to his death. Death should not be dressed up. It should be viewed as it is, an end to the natural culmination of a life.
The "I" pleads, "No wreaths please-especially not hot house flowers. Some common memento is better, something he prized and is known by: his old clothes-a few books perhaps--." This appears to be another comment on not using artificial trappings in death. One understands that the "I" would have preferred a single daisy on the coffin rather ...

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A Critical Analysis Of The Poem Entitled "Tract" By William Carlos Williams. (2004, March 12). Retrieved January 23, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Critical-Analysis-Poem-Entitled-Tract-William/4431
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"A Critical Analysis Of The Poem Entitled "Tract" By William Carlos Williams." Essayworld.com. March 12, 2004. Accessed January 23, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Critical-Analysis-Poem-Entitled-Tract-William/4431.
"A Critical Analysis Of The Poem Entitled "Tract" By William Carlos Williams." Essayworld.com. March 12, 2004. Accessed January 23, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Critical-Analysis-Poem-Entitled-Tract-William/4431.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/12/2004 07:33:17 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1984
Pages: 8

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