Hoy les traigo el segundo ensayo que tuve que escribir para el Modpo, el curso de poesía estadounidense moderna y contemporánea que estoy haciendo. En esta oportunidad había que leer dos versiones de un poema de William Carlos Williams y explicar por qué el segundo poema era más imagista que el primero. En este caso preparé el ensayo con anticipación. Armé un borrador y luego de terminarlo recién busqué información en internet, pero no la incorporé al ensayo (al revés de lo que hice en el primer ensayo). Esta vez estoy conforme con mi trabajo porque lo hice sola. Lo que me marcaron en los comentarios era que había algunas reiteraciones. Esto ya lo había notado mientras lo escribía y tenía pensado pulirlo al final pero no pude hacerlo por falta de tiempo. El último párrafo queda un poco descolocado. Pensé en suprimirlo pero, como ya dije antes, al no disponer de tiempo, no pude quitarlo. Me gustó una sugerencia que me hizo un compañero del curso: podría haber empezado el ensayo diciendo que los dos poemas presentaban ciertas similitudes pero también varias diferencias y luego, podría haber enumerado todas las diferencias.
Acá está la consigna.
Below you will see two versions of a poem by William Carlos Williams called "Young Woman at a Window." One of these versions was published and the other remained unpublished during the poet's lifetime; this manuscript version was found by scholars among Williams's papers and was eventually published. For now let's leave aside the question of which of these two versions was published by Williams (and thus presumably preferred by him). And let us assume—reasonably—that one version was a rewriting or reworking of the other, or that he wrote one and then revised it, and that the effort of revision produced the other.
|William Carlos Williams en 1921|
We have no particular evidence, other than what we might find in the poem itself, to believe that Williams wrote "Young Woman at a Window" under the influence of imagism. We don't know that he meant this poem to adhere to imagist principles. Nonetheless, the second of these two Williams poems is considered to be more imagist than the first.
You will write a short essay, of 500 words, on "Young Woman at a Window." To prepare to write this short essay, please re-read the six propositions in the imagist manifesto at this link. Then, think about this question: What makes the second version of "Young Woman at a Window" more imagist than the first version of the poem? How does it conform to the principles and ideas of imagism as they are declared in the manifesto more effectively or more successfully or more faithfully than does the first version?
Your job in this short essay is to look closely at the poems and to argue that interpretative position—that version 2 is "more imagist." You should do so by showing how version 2 follows the manifesto but you can also do so by showing how version 1 does not.
“Young Woman at a Window” ( version 1)
While she sits
with tears on
her cheek on
this little child
who robs her
knows nothing of
but rubs his
“Young Woman at a Window” ( version 2)
She sits with
her cheek on
in her lap
to the glass
Les dejo mi ensayo
One Poem, Two Versions
William Carlos Williams wrote two versions of “Young Woman at a Window”. At first sight we can see that the second version is shorter that the first one. And when we read them, we can see that the meaning of the two poems is different too. In the first version, the woman is sad because of the little child although we don’t know what the child has stolen from her (her youth? her freedom?). In the second version, the young woman is crying but we don’t know why she is crying and we don’t know whether the child is the cause of her tears. As well as this, the second version is considered to be more imagist than the first one.
First of all, the purpose of the imagist poets was to present an image and the second version is an image. The author makes a static description as if he author had taken a photograph of an instant in the life of this young woman and her child. It just says that there is a woman who is crying and she has a child on her lap with his nose pressed to the glass (a window I suppose). There is no action here whereas in the first one, the poet tells us a brief story. There is a young woman who is crying and there is a child who has robbed her and that rubs his nose. The conjunction “while” expresses simultaneity. On the one hand, a woman is crying and on the other hand, a little child, who has robbed her, is rubbing his nose. So, there are two simultaneous actions and a brief story, too.
Secondly, imagist poets wanted to produce a poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred or indefinite. This feature can be seen in the second version because the poem is clear. It is a clear image of woman and a little child while the first version is not a precise visual image. There are some inaccuracies. For example, it says “While she sits there” and we don’t know where she sits. As well as this, and as it has been said before, we don’t know what the little child has stolen from the woman.
Thirdly, imagists had to employ the exact word, not the nearly-exact, nor the merely decorative word. What I’m going to say now is connected to the previous paragraph. In the first version, the poet uses the word “there” to name the place where the woman is sitting and this is a very general word, it is not precise or exact. Williams should have told us the exact place where the woman was sitting. In the second version, we know the woman and the child are at a window.
Finally, I’d like to add some similarities between the two versions of the poem as regards imagism. Both poems are written in free verse and we can see freedom in the choice of subject matter. Besides, the writer uses the language of common speech in these two poems.
Les dejo unos enlaces que les pueden interesar.
Imagismo (en inglés): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagism
William Carlos Williams (en inglés): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Carlos_Williams
Un ensayo donde se comparan los dos poemas (en inglés): http://www.gup.ru/events/news/smi/Volkova_Williams.pdf
URL de la foto: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Carlos_Williams#mediaviewer/File:William_Carlos_Williams_passport_photograph_1921.jpg