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“On ‘Willow Poem’”

In “Willow Poem”, William Carlos Williams uses line-breaks to reinforce the swirling

motion of nature. This poem presents the seasonal change from summer to autumn as it

depicts about falling willow leaves and the wind. The natural whirling movement is explored

through the arrangement of the poem. Williams chooses to break particular lines which

results in the alternating long and short lines all over the poem. It reflects the content as well

as the setting of the poem for the reason that the various ranges of each line are identical to

the fluctuating motion of the wind. An example of this can be found on the third line, which

states “from which no leaf has fallen nor” (3). Here, Williams decides to break the phrase

after “nor” which is “bitten by the sun” (4) to create the pause and to differ the length of both

lines. This pattern of line-breaks continues throughout the poem, such as in the ninth and

tenth line, Williams writes “as if loath to let go, / they are so cool, so drunk with” (9-10). In

addition, on the thirteenth line, the text refers to, “the last to let go and fall” (13), it illustrates

the image of leaves falling from the willow tree and swirls before they touch the ground.