Tomato & Wheelbarrow

red-tomato-web

The Red Tomato

so much depends

upon

a red to

mato

shining in a

soap dish

beside the white

window

I picked my first tomato this past week and thought – not necessarily and yet not unreasonably – of William Carlos Williams, the physician-poet from New Jersey whom I was introduced to in college in the late 1950s. Now I wonder if Williams is still read regularly in school, or if there are a few writers who are still “getting” his instruction that there be “no ideas but in things” as were poets Ginsburg, Olson, Levertov, and others. That, we were taught, was the lesson of his most anthologized poem, the poem I have lovingly parodied with my tomato.

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

upon

a red wheel

barrow

glazed with rain

water

beside the white

chickens.

It is estimated that Williams delivered 2000 babies from the mothers of New Jersey in his more than forty years as a practicing pediatrician.

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