Between Walls by William Carlos Williams

Posted by Maddie on May 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

In a KWH event in New York City held on Thursday, May 10th, Professor Al Filreis (UPenn) moderated a discussion on William Carlos Williams' "Between Walls." Indeed short, with each stanza carrying 3-5 words per, the entire room full of KWH supporters and alum analyzed the poem phrase by phrase. In "Between Walls," healing the self (hospital) is juxtaposed with harming the self (alcohol).

"Between Walls" reminded me of my English elective, "The Ache of Modernism" mainly because of the poem's title, "Between Walls," which conjures up wasteland imagery. It's funny that "Between Walls" is probably the shortest poem I've read and "The Wasteland" is probably the longest, yet the poems' touch on similar themes. In my modernism elective, I read T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland"; the overarching message I gathered from this long poem was that our self-destructive actions are not contained within the self. In “The Wasteland” Eliot glorifies Shakespearian women and denounces modern women, juxtaposing two self-destructive women— Hamlet’s Ophelia to Lil—to reveal that modernity is a culmination of our snowballing self-destructive actions. 

If you have read T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland," I hope you can see my train of thought and see how I analyzed Williams' "Between Walls."

 See my handwritten jots below.

Categories: Cheese Meets Poetry, Poetry

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