so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
"Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. If that plane train leaves and you're not with him, if you don't go, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon, and for the rest of you life."
"What about us?'
"We'll always have Paris."
Reading Casablanca into the photograph is probably adding too much meaning. Why can't it just be a train? Why can't Williams' wheelbarrow just be a wheelbarrow?
What catches people off guard is the line "so much depends upon." You have no idea what depends on the wheelbarrow. Williams was asked once what the poem meant. His response is just as enigmatic as the poem:
***Williams was overtaken in popularity by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. That poem is complicated, filled with at least seven languages, I don't know how many individual speakers, and obscure pop culture references. Williams wrote in his autobiography, "I felt at once that The Waste Land had set me back twenty years and I'm sure it did. Critically, Eliot returned us to the classroom just at the moment when I felt we were on a point to escape to matters much closer to the essence of a new art form itself—rooted in the locality which should give it fruit," and he continued to be critical of Eliot's work. What I like, what I enjoy, about Williams as opposed to Eliot—who I like for different reasons altogether—is Williams use of American plain colloquial English. Nothing about the Wheelbarrow is fancy. Not a single word is over two syllables. American poet and literary critic, John Hollander, called Wheelbarrow "meditative." All good poetry is, really, delicious and cold, like a plum.