William Carlos Williams is a pioneer who creates a whole new realm in American poetry. He is regarded as an important and influential poet because of his unique and usually plain style. The poem “Poem” is one of the most prominent poems reflecting Williams’ style of writing. In this piece of work, Williams discusses a central contrast between the mortality of life and immortality of art through the image of two roses – in nature and in poetry. It can be said that life is symbolized by the rose, the central image and also the main theme of “Poem”.
The real rose and unreal one are skillfully used to represent two factors: the reality and the art. In nature, a rose which cannot avoid the cycle of time undergoes stages of nature rules. First, it germinates from a seed. Then, it grows up and blooms or blossoms. Next, it fades or discolored. Finally, it dies. “The rose fades – And is renewed again – By its seed naturally” (Williams, 1983).
The issue of the rose fading show that life, no matter what forms, follows the nature changing rule and eventually fades away.
Meanwhile, Williams uses the image of the rose in poem to respect the art because the real rose will fade naturally but the rose of art keeps an ever-lasting beauty: “Save in the poem – shall it go – to suffer no diminution – of its splendor” (Williams, 1983). Generally, the whole poem presents the central contrast of nature versus art, death versus life and cycle of time versus perfection that lasts forever.
With respect to the highlighted image of the rose in poetry, it can not be touch but lives forever and remains perfect, fresh, young, and beautiful regardless of time.
It has the empowerment of splendor, perfection, and immortality. In fact, Williams’ intention after his words of praising the power of the rose in poem is to advocate the power of art in general. It seems that the poet gives prominence to art whose role is to inspire and guide people through curves of life thanks to its beauty and significance of teaching truth, giving beauty and pleasure, shaping moral characters, showing power of language and showing human experience.