Kevin Chen 484200749
Oct 29, 1998
Nature and Love
in Williams's "Queen-Anne's-Lace"
On the surface, William Carlos Williams's "Queen-Anne's-Lace" is a poem
about nature; however, after analyzing it, I find that this poem is not only related to
nature but also associated with love. The poet uses nature, especially the whiteness
of flowers, as a kind to symbol to point out a woman's need for love. This poem is
written in a third person point of view. The poet is more like a spectator, describing
what he has seen.
When I first read this poem, I am kind of confused with those flowers, such as
anemone and wild carrot. According to my investigation, anemone, also known as
the wind flower, is the incarnation of Adonis. It can be red or white. As for the
wild carrot, it has a very beautiful nickname-Queen Anne's Lace.* Leaves are
small, flat, compound, and have sheath-like petioles. Flowers are white, flat, broad,
and circular shaped.
In the first sentence, the speaker says," Her body is not so white as anemone
petals . . ." It may suggest that this unknown lady is not a virgin. We know that
white connotes light, purity, innocence, and virginity (the wedding dress). The
lady's physical body no longer contains the beauty of virginity. As to the next
sentence, it seems quite bizarre to me. What does "It" in the poem refer to? It,
literally meaning here, is the field of the wild carrot taking the field by force. If "it"
refers to the body of the lady, then she may be raped by some guy. However, it does
not make sense to me.
As for the fourth sentence, the lady's lover tends to take care of her. The word
"hand" often reminds me of care or caress. "Each part is a blossom under his
touch . . ." proves my assumption. The lady is so beautiful because of her lover's
love toward her. With the nourishment of love, the lady looks even more beautiful.
Next, "the whole field is/ a white desire, empty, a single stem,/ a cluster, flower by
flower,/ a pious wish . . " also has some special meaning. It is a kind of metaphor.
The field of Queen Anne's Lace is a white desire, which may suggest that Queen
Anne's Lace is the lady and that the desire is to be with the man. In this way, all the
girl wants is the care and caress of the man.