Jack Shit: Williams’ Wheelbarrow and Meaning in Poetry

Red Square, Kazimir Malevich

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

“The Red Wheelbarrow” is perhaps America’s most venerated piece of verse, but its place in popular culture is somewhat of an enigma. One could expect quotable earworms like “The Road Not Taken” to weevil their way into the American argot (its sentiment is simple and easy to twist into folk-tongue), but the fable of the garden tool contains none of the usual ingredients of a popular poem. Think of poetry’s salable mainstays; Poe’s “The Raven”, Angelou’s “Still I Rise”, Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death”, Eliot’s “Prufrock”, Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle”. Compared to these poetic anthems, “The Red Wheelbarrow” seems almost a circus act, a freakshow. It’s a mere sixteen words drudged into four unrhymed, heavily enjambed couplets, with no quotable phrase in sight; Pound’s “Metro” could only dream of such fawning from the public. Yet the wheelbarrow has somehow defied the odds. Along with a sprinkle of Frost, a dash of Poe, a drizzle of Eliot, or Angelou, and something about rage and a good night; most Americans will be able to remember something about a wheelbarrow, and that is quite the rare achievement in the modern age.

It’s a poem that, in its simplicity, was one of modernism’s most radical inventions; a meditative, almost haiku-like piece, that slows the reader’s pace with tottering enjambment, so that their mind develops the poem’s image gradually, as though they were shaking a polaroid, waiting for its hidden picture to appear. Its pensive nature is often what draws its admirers, many being obsessed with solving the mystery, that being, of course, why did so much depend upon a red wheelbarrow? The problem arises when one realizes that such a simple query cannot be answered without outside help. The humanistic tether that the poem hinges upon is a dead end. There is no single line that summarizes the poem’s main objective, and one who wishes to find some spiritual significance must read between the stanzas.

One must begin with “so much depends / upon.” This is the reader’s only link to any inkling of the poet’s perspective. Without it there is only a photographic transcription, and yet the reader is tasked with deciphering, from this single phrase, the narrator’s attitude towards the subject. And while many have written of its listless palette, I found, to my surprise, that The Wheelbarrow’s imagery has quite a devoted following. Swathes of critics speak of the famous scene as though it were a memory from a previous life. Carol Rumens said, “[the poem’s] images are irrefutable, and no amount of verbal rain will ever wash them from the memory they have entered.”1 A sentence drawn and quartered into couplets shall never again garner such praise. But with a title like “Poem of the Week”, Rumens exceeds the critic’s abyssal expectations. She manages to address the poem’s infamous introductory phrase with this explanation,“Had Williams simply set down his imagery as a description, the poem would still have its visual impact, but we would be in an entirely contained pictorial world.” Who would’ve thought?

When I think of impact, I think of world-shattering force, and impactful imagery is usually not a title gifted to a work that reeks of bathos. Part of what makes an image so powerful is context, and when context is unclear, visual impact will undoubtedly suffer. Though Rumens goes on to refute this argument, “the poem’s opening assertion, ‘so much depends/upon…’, shows that, perhaps paradoxically, the speaker is not simply content with the thing itself.” For what is now nigh a century, diagnoses of disdain and sarcasm have been used to excuse this poem’s bathetic tendencies, but these conclusions are easily dispelled by consulting the author’s recorded intentions. The reader must excuse Williams’ infuriating use of slurs, sadly typical of the 1930s: 

The wheelbarrow in question stood outside the window of an old negro’s house on a back street in the suburb where I live. It was pouring rain and there were white chickens walking about in it. The sight impressed me somehow as about the most important, the most integral that it had ever been my pleasure to gaze upon. And the meter though no more than a fragment succeeds in portraying this pleasure flawlessly, even [as] it succeeds in denoting a certain unquenchable exaltation—in fact I find the poem quite perfect.2

So the aforementioned slant can be thrown out, as Williams clearly recalls writing out of a place of exaltation, rather than malcontentment or mockery. But does “so much depends / upon” remove the reader from a pictorial world? As far as I’m concerned, the first stanza tells me exactly where my focus should be; that is, on the image. Williams is not telling the reader to look away from the world, he’s telling them to feast their eyes upon it. There is no dreaminess or reverie to the timbre of his demand. I’m rooted exactly where he wants me to be, in this barren pastoral scene, paralyzed by space, unable to shift my gaze from the given portrait. There is nowhere to hide from the pushcart or the chanticleer.

The poem’s elusive nature depends upon its first couplet, and it’s obvious that Williams is trying to cull the reader towards some peculiar agency. One gathers that, despite its outward listlessness, Williams believes in the importance of the image, and sees a significance lurking somewhere outside the text. We’re not supposed to know exactly what it is, and if we were, Williams would have told us. But one can’t help feeling a bit cheated by Wheelbarrow’s anticlimax; the author’s reticence leaves the reader wanting more. 

In most cases, historical context needn’t be consulted to ascertain a text’s theme. Most poems exist inside their own sphere of influence, and only works with preceding reputations are caught in the crosshairs of critics. Whether it’s Eliot’s disintegrating marriage and subsequent sanitarium stay inspiring “The Waste Land”, or Pound’s charge of treason and expected execution during the writing of the Pisan Cantos, it’s no surprise that these larger-than-life poets have had every aspect of their creative processes inspected under a microscope. For confessional works, the poem and the poet become almost intertwined, and in the case of iconic examples like The Dream Songs or The Dolphin, it’s nearly impossible to separate the art from the lore; they are an intertextual yin and yang. The full illustration of Robert Lowell’s ugly love triangle enhances a reader’s understanding of The Dolphin’s plot, and the dark cloud of suicide that looms over John Berryman’s The Dreamsongs augments the immensity of what is written therein; a record of the internal battle that one knows the poet is doomed to lose. Then there are rare poems like “The Red Wheelbarrow”, whose history must be consulted out of sheer necessity, because there is simply nothing else from which to draw any rat-crumb of consequence. The poem is composed almost entirely of a red wheelbarrow and white chickens, yet it isn’t about a red wheelbarrow and white chickens… it’s about what depended upon them. The lingering question is always what exactly is so much?

One of the biggest developments in the saga of “The Wheelbarrow” came in 2015, when Professor William Logan, a renowned critic, discovered that the red wheelbarrow belonged to Thaddeus Lloyd Marshall Senior, a Black street vendor from Rutherford, New Jersey, who lived about nine blocks from the poet.3 But even before Professor Logan’s identification of the man behind the wheelbarrow, critics like Sergio Rizzo had been grappling with Marshall’s “banishment to the margins.”4 Rizzo references the article “Seventy Years Deep” in which Williams is described as “A physician who is considered by many to be America’s greatest living poet… [who] attributes his success to what he has learned from the people of his hometown.”5 In an interview with the poet from the same article, Rizzo sees Williams attempting to display himself, not as a man of letters, but as a man of the people, when the poet’s late acknowledgement of his old friend seems to say otherwise.6

Williams’ first reference to Marshall came in the poem’s preface from 1933’s Fifty Poets: An American Auto-Anthology, where the wheelbarrow’s owner was labeled, in the cringe inducing tone-deafness typical of the time, as only “an old negro”.7 It wasn’t until 1954, in an interview with Holiday Magazine, that Williams deigned to humanize to the mildest degree that man for whom he supposedly had an “affection”, by awarding to history his unknown last name.

[“The Red Wheelbarrow”] sprang from affection for an old Negro named Marshall. He had been a fisherman, caught porgies off Gloucester. He used to tell me how he had to work in the hold in freezing weather, standing ankle deep in cracked ice packing down the fish. He said he didn’t feel cold. He never felt cold in his life until just recently. I liked that man, and his son Milton almost as much. In his back yard I saw the red wheelbarrow surrounded by the white chickens. I suppose my affection for the old man somehow got into the writing.8

With such paltry gifts, it’s no wonder it took almost a century for his existence to be acknowledged as anything other than a footnote. It’s true, Thaddeus Marshall is entirely absent in the text, but the knowledge of his existence is valuable (besides to give a fellow human being his rightful place in history) to disprove the theory that “The Red Wheelbarrow”is a statement about the workman’s plight. So much, it seems, depends upon Thaddeus Lloyd Marshall Senior. 

As experienced readers, we’re conditioned to find an explanation for everything, when sometimes there simply isn’t one. To attempt to trace the metaphysical significance of the wheelbarrow is to be trapped in a lemniscate. The text itself is a still life stripped to the scaffolds of its canvas, far more aesthetic than philosophical. Rizzo sees these late acknowledgments as Williams reflecting on his past work during a time of intense metamorphosis, in which his poetry changed drastically, and the radical modernism seen in “The Red Wheelbarrow” all but vanished. He sees the attempts to reinter the poem’s roots as simply revisionist history, and perhaps owing more to Williams’ shift to a more confessional tone in his verse, and to his many autobiographical works written around the same time, than to any actual truth. In his own words:

Exposing the emotional roots of “The Red Wheelbarrow” is in keeping with the Williams of the fifties. This is a decade of intense personal recollection for him, reflected in the publication of his autobiography (1951), a novel based on his marriage and in-laws, The Build-Up (1952), his Selected Letters (1957), an autobiographical commentary on his publications, I Wanted to Write a Poem (1958), and a memoir of his mother, Yes, Mrs. Williams (1959). In addition, his poetry of the fifties reflects his evolution from the spare modernism of his earlier imagist (1910-20s) and objectivist (1930s) phases, through his epic Paterson I-IV (1946-51), and culminating with the more personal or even “confessional” voice found in such works as Asphodel, That Greeny Flower (1955) and Paterson V (1958).9

It seems that Thaddeus Marshall just so happened to own an object that caught the Imagist’s eye. Had Williams meant to praise the proletariat, it wouldn’t have taken him thirty years to say so, and there were far better ways in which to go about monumentalizing the man. Professor Logan also noted Williams’ faulty (or dishonest) memory in his own essay on the subject, which appears in Dickonson’s Nerves, Frost’s Woods. Williams, Logan explains, had claimed to have been present at the debut of Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain”, four years before the project was even conceived.10 In fact, Williams had once remarked, in the aforementioned interview with Holiday, that the only poem he remembered writing was “The Red Wheelbarrow”.11 Williams’ integrity as a witness is dubious, but when dealing with matters of his own composition, he remains the only primary source. That being said, between his two origin stories, one can choose their favorite. The outcome is inevitably the same for both. “His attempt in the Holiday article to locate Marshall in his remembrance of ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ is an effort to reassert feelings and associations circumscribed by the poem’s modernist formalism,” said Rizzo, and I tend to agree.12 Williams’ love song to the neighboring town of Paterson, which consumed the latter half of his career, saw an increased reliance on the human aspect of the poem to make up for his rejection of European mythos. It makes sense for his poetic persona to attempt to reinter these early lyrics into the context of his then overarching meta, the psychician of Rutherford who just so happened to write poetry. Much of Paterson was inspired by Williams’ tramps around the city; those characters which once stood faceless in the background were finally brought to the forefront of his verse. 

But turning my attention back to the man who discovered the wheelbarrow’s owner, Logan offers the reader an explanation as to why the poem became such a magnificent one hit wonder, when so many subsequent forays into similar rhetoric would fall flat. Logan writes:

When Heraclitus declared that you can’t step into the same river twice, he went beyond a lesson about getting your feet wet. The first example is revolutionary, the next is shtick.13

Cratylus, upon hearing of Heraclitus’ declaration, stated that you can’t even step into the same river once. As an example, Logan mentions Duchamp’s urinal being made a shtick after he followed it up with a coat rack; but a shtick is a shtick is a shtick. Most are immediately written off by serious critics; it rarely becomes a matter of repetition. One needn’t look further than Donald Hall’s The Town of Hill (which the poet chose for his selected poems) to find an example of the wheelbarrow’s influence, and the original is much like a faux-haiku (See Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool”, Jorie Graham’s “Scirocco”, Paul Violi’s “Tanka”, or Franz Wright’s Walking to Martha’s Vineyard, which sadly won a Pulitzer); if such writing can be called shtick, the shtick has stuck around. Even Williams was unwilling to abandon the form. In 1934, he would return to enjambed trivialities with “This Is Just To Say”, which would become another anthological cold sore: 

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold14

Logan mocks contemporary Barry Ahearn for his analysis in William Carlos Williams and Alterity, but I believe Ahearn’s ideas deserve a worthy consideration. Whether purposeful or not, there is clearly a link between this poem’s parasitic insistence and the repetition of certain sounds. “So much depends / upon” sees the repeated Puh, compelling a pronounced pursing of the lips, adjoining the two opening stanzas. The same tactic is employed to link “red wheel” with “with / rain water”, which then trickles down to “white chickens”, followed by “beside” and “barrow”. Even in the case of “barrow” the mouth still prepares itself to sound the Wuh, though it stops short of completion. Four out of the poem’s sixteen words begin with the letter W, or 25%, or ¼ of the entire text. Were ¼ of “The Waste Land” written with words beginning with the letter R, I doubt Logan would fail to see that fact as significant. Ahearn also highlights the repeated long O sound in “so” and “barrow”,15 which links the first and second stanzas, and this rings true, considering the differences in sound that would appear stark, between the Puh of the first stanza and the Wuh of the rest, were the reader not greeted with the familiar O’s as a sort of stanzaic glue. The same thing applies for “the long vowels in ‘glazed with rain’”,16 and I must add to that argument the hidden jazz of “chickEns” and “depEnds”, with “rEd” third wheeling in the middle. There is a musicality within words themselves, and it is shoved to the forefront in such short verse. The uncanny image of a “blue / pushcart” combined with “rain / water” sounds grating beside “a red wheel / barrow” and “rain / water”. The cursed utterance of “beaded with rain” makes the ears bleed, while “glazed with rain” lulls the reader into a casual trance. If the sounds do not matter then any synonym should suffice, but to change a single word in “The Red Wheelbarrow” would cause the text to descend into endless metamorphoses. None of the poem’s words are interchangeable. 

It’s actually quite impressive, how a poet with a catalog as vast and versatile as William Carlos Williams, managed to go down in popular history, not for his over three hundred page epic Paterson, or for his hundreds of masterful displays of the modern American lyric, but for a rhythmic exercise about a wheelbarrow, and a note on the refrigerator of the century. But it would be naive to interpret these two poems as a literary precursor to shock-rock, as eccentricity for eccentricities sake. Williams wasn’t being coy. In fact, in 1933, when asked to choose which one of his poems he’d like to be featured in Fifty Poets: An American Auto-Anthology, Williams chose “The Wheelbarrow”. It was a work which he labeled as “quite perfect”,17 and while a certain species of reader may be left hungry by such malnourished stanzas, Williams clearly wasn’t. While, by the time of the wheelbarrow’s publication, pioneers of Imagism like Pound had already turned turn-coat on the American idiom (his first of many Benedict Arnoldisms) and returned to his imaginary Victorian patois, Williams was still hammering away at his typewriter in Rutherford, New Jersey, attempting to conceive the first authentic American verse. While Eliot (with his famous BBC brogue), born from muddy streams of the Mississippi, fled across the pond and quickly assimilated into the culture of Europe, Williams alone carried the coveted American Idiom into modernity. It was his lifelong mission to kick the cold corpse of European rhetoric back across the Atlantic where it belonged, and with a single poem, it all came crashing down:

Out of the blue The Dial brought out The Waste Land and all our hilarity ended. It wiped out our world as if an atom bomb had been dropped upon it and our brave sallies into the unknown were turned to dust… I felt at once that it had set me back twenty years…. Critically Eliot returned us to the classroom just at the moment when I felt that we were on the point of an escape.18

Debuting a year after “The Waste Land”, “The Red Wheelbarrow” illustrates just how at odds Williams was with his contemporaries in Paris. He wasn’t channeling his inner Wordsworth with such stammering prosaics, he didn’t care whether a less poetically-inclined audience could understand what he was saying. The mission was the true American genius. In many ways, “The Wheelbarrow” is a manifesto-in-verse;19 a voice stripped to its skeleton, in stark opposition to the academic direction of Williams’ literary rivals. In 1923, with the lush landscape of invention flattened by the “The Waste Land”, Williams’ quaint lines were a cry of defiance. His refusal to be caught in the currents of Europe is unique. Crane and Stevens, like Whitman, were still indebted to Victorian mannerisms, and e.e. cummings opened 1924’s Tulips and Chimneys with the poem “Epithalamion”, which reads like an erotic echo of Keats’ “Endymion”:

Thou aged unreluctant earth who dost
with quivering continual thighs invite
the thrilling rain the slender paramour
to toy with thy extraordinary lust,
(the sinuous rain which rising from thy bed
steals to his wife the sky and hour by hour
wholly renews her pale flesh with delight)
—immortally whence are the high gods fled?20

Williams alone was still tending to Imagism’s mausoleum, building upon its tenets, clinging to his first taste of a verse libre that was à la mode. At the time, poetry was undergoing a rapid industrialization, yet its identity barreled backwards towards antiquity. The ultra-modern voices of the early 1900s had vanished into manifold thee’s and thou’s, the allusions still indebted to thousands of years of European tradition, phasing in and out of Latin and Greek. Williams had seen the glimmer of his prized American Idiom in the anti-lyrics of the prior decade; he was more than willing to continue on alone.

So-called “meaningless” texts, or rather texts that evade traditional explanation, present an inverse paradox to the critic. He or she have been conditioned to find the hidden significance in everything, and when none is available, they may unconsciously (or consciously) invent their own. Such open ended verse allows for the critic to take too many artistic liberties. This critical alchemy, as I’ve termed it, can arise from a number of illnesses; political motivation, ostentatiousness, stupidity, inexperience, etc. These takes can vary from mildly pretentious to purely absurd. The following take by the aforementioned Sergio Rizzo falls into the latter category: 

Dunn quite rightly locates “The Red Wheelbarrow” in the context of erotic desire, a context that is largely lost in the poem’s recontextualization into anthologies and poetry collections and ignored by most critics. However, once we see how Williams’ erotic desire is racialized, one has to be skeptical about any transcendence “The Red Wheelbarrow” provides, or any claims for the power of the imagination to alleviate “consciousness of the desire which always precedes and exceeds its object.”21

Anyone who perceives the wheelbarrow as erotic might as well masturbate to instruction manuals. But disregarding Williams’ previously unknown ornithophilia and/or objectophilia, the above serves as a fine example of how quickly this sixteen word riddle can become the catalyst for any number of wild conspiracies. The incantations one must recite, the newt’s tails one must stew to come to a conclusion not yet garnered; it can quickly spiral out of control. Poetry needn’t always be read between the lines, some things can be taken at face value, especially in regards to Williams’ work of the period. “This poem tends to ignore what it doesn’t state,”22 said Hugh Kenner, and he’s right. The wheelbarrow sucks the air from the room. Williams’ strong-arm presentation forces the reader to perceive the subject in an entirely new way. Whether trifling or momentous, one has no choice but to look. “The lines, the words, dangle in equidependency, attracting the attention, isolating it, so that the sentence in which they are arrayed comes to seem like a suspension system. This was one thing Williams meant by ‘making,’ not ‘saying.’ Yet you do say, you do go through the motions of saying. But art lifts the saying out of the zone of things said.” Kenner’s meditations call to mind Logan’s comparison of the wheelbarrow to Duchamp’s “Fountain”, an everyday object lifted from its typical surroundings to become art. If explicated through this approach, “The Red Wheelbarrow” triumphs by turning a tedious scene, composed of tedious prose, into a brooding cogitation, and its persistence throughout the years proves just how successful its transmutation was. There is no hidden weight behind the words, but the false inference of magnitude makes the reader discern the subject from upon a pedestal, the poetic equivalent, as Logan sees it, of Duchamp placing a urinal in an art gallery.23 And it does seem quite the fitting comparison, that placing of a wheelbarrow and chickens in the English canon, beside such antiques and marvels, and though it may have been a mere happy accident, I imagine it brought the puritanically American poet some joy to see his sixteen word, minimalist still life spoken of in the same circles as “The Waste Land”.

One could pick through the scraps of Williams’ psyche for eons, but trying to discover what so much depended upon becomes more and more impossible with each page. I too found myself scrubbing through document after document searching for some gobbet of confirmation. There was the symbolism of certain colors in ancient Chinese culture (and Williams perhaps inspired by Cathay’s insipid color palette, Duchamp by “The Beautiful Toilet”), and then a little tale about a greedy country man and his wheelbarrow full of pears (which are stolen by a priest, whose request for alms had been refused)24 from Herbert Allen Giles’ A History of Chinese Literature, which Williams is known to have read. I could try to entwine this poetic reference to a Tolystion admiration of peasantry, and thus to Thaddeus Marshall who may have sold eggs from his wheelbarrow (and perhaps even to the casks of the Danaïdes, or a grainy 16-mm film of Bigfoot), but there is no real evidence to back any of it up, and a lustful mind will swiftly muck their thesis into nonsense. “The Red Wheelbarrow” has become nothing short of a poetic cryptid; it breaks into pastures at night and drains the lifeforce of young critics. 

Perhaps the most accurate interpretation of the ode to the immortal garden instrument comes from an anonymous college student who parodied the poem. As John Yohe wrote in “Imitation/Emulation In The Writing Process:

David Lehman also had an interesting ‘reverse imitation’ exercise, which he called ‘destroying a poem.’ The idea being to take a poem that you hate (and believe me after getting an MFA degree there will be plenty poems you hate) and making it your own. For example, take all the nouns and put in their opposites. Or take the style of a poet, say simple sentences ending with periods, and write sentences dripping with sarcasm, mocking the subject matter, and end them with periods. A quick, if not profound, example being when one classmate took William Carlos William’s poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” which he hated, and changed the first two words from “So much” to “Jack shit”, so it came out, “Jack shit depends / on a red wheelbarrow / glazed with rain water / beside the white chickens.”25

The deeper I delve into the origins of the “The Red Wheelbarrow”, the more I find myself agreeing with the opinion of said anonymous student. There are enough dead horse beatings in this essay to drive a thousand Neitzsches mad, and the oft defiled corpse of Williams’ wheelbarrow has become a concubine for critical necrophiles. Jack shit, that’s what it all amounts to, and So much depends upon every critic’s belief that So much depends, because without the numerous autopsies descending into erotic desire and scholarly fanfiction, the literary world would have let this poem die long ago. ∎

  1. Carol Rumens, Poem of the week: The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams, The Guardian, March 8 2010.
  2. William Rose Benét, ed., Fifty Poets: An American Auto-Anthology (New York NY: Duffield and Green, 1933), 60.
  3. William Logan, Dickinson’s Nerves, Frost’s Woods (New York NY: Columbia University Press, 2018), 214-219.
  4. Sergio Rizzo, Extra-poetical Contexts and the Racial Other in “The Red Wheelbarrow” (Journal of Modern Literature Vol. 29, No. 1 Modernist Afterimages, Autumn 2005) 34-54.
  5. William Carlos Williams, “Seventy Years Deep,” Holiday Magazine 16 (November 1954): 78.
  6. Sergio Rizzo, Extra-poetical Contexts and the Racial Other in “The Red Wheelbarrow” (Journal of Modern Literature Vol. 29, No. 1 Modernist Afterimages, Autumn 2005) 34-54.
  7. William Rose Benét, ed., Fifty Poets: An American Auto-Anthology (New York NY: Duffield and Green, 1933), 60.
  8.  William Carlos Williams, Seventy Years Deep, (Holiday Magazine, November 16 1954), 78.
  9.  Sergio Rizzo, Extra-poetical Contexts and the Racial Other in “The Red Wheelbarrow” (Journal of Modern Literature Vol. 29, No. 1 Modernist Afterimages, Autumn 2005) 34-54.
  10.  William Logan, Dickinson’s Nerves, Frost’s Woods (New York NY: Columbia University Press, 2018), 210.
  11.  William Carlos Williams, Seventy Years Deep, (Holiday Magazine, November 16 1954), 78.
  12.  Sergio Rizzo, Extra-poetical Contexts and the Racial Other in “The Red Wheelbarrow” (Journal of Modern Literature Vol. 29, No. 1 Modernist Afterimages, Autumn 2005) 34-54.
  13. Ibid., 199.
  14.  William Carlos Williams, Selected Poems (New York NY: New Directions, 1985), 74.
  15.  Barry Ahearn, William Carlos Williams and Alterity (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, February 25 1994), 145.
  16. Ibid., 146.
  17.  William Rose Benét, ed., Fifty Poets: An American Auto-Anthology (New York NY: Duffield and Green, 1933), 60.
  18. William Carlos Williams, Autobiography (New York NY: New Directions, April 2017), 209. 
  19.  Similarly to Rumen’s writing of “a manifesto for modern poetry”; Ibid.
  20.  E. E. Cummings, Tulips and Chimneys (New York NY: Liverwright, August 1996), 3.
  21.  Sergio Rizzo, Extra-poetical Contexts and the Racial Other in “The Red Wheelbarrow” (Journal of Modern Literature Vol. 29, No. 1 Modernist Afterimages, Autumn 2005) 34-54.
  22.  Hugh Kenner, A Homemade World: The Modernist American Writers (Baltimore MD: John Hopkins University Press, 1989) 59.
  23.  William Logan, Dickinson’s Nerves, Frost’s Woods (New York NY: Columbia University Press, 2018), 210-211.
  24.  Herbert Allen Giles, A History of Chinese Literature (F. Ungar, 1924) 348-349.
  25. John Yohe, Imitation/Emulation In The Writing Process (Writing on the Edge, Vol. 25, No.1, Fall 2014) 72-81.