William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow”


William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” is written in a subjective point of view, which makes it both personal and relatable to the reader. The poem gives insight into the way real people think and gives life to certain topics that are not often talked about. It has impacted me through the way it uses the imagery of an event that is less often discussed. The poem narrates about a man who had to bury his father and loved him dearly, but does not reflect a society where people are quick to seek out and share their feelings (Williams, 2018). The poem illustrates exactly what happens in today’s society; for example, those that grieve do not talk about the death of a loved one every day. It is also apparent in today’s society that people do not discuss feelings frequently, which is evident throughout the entire poem.

To become critical readers, it is important to practice reading actively and with a set of opinions (O’Byrne, 2018). By analyzing and interpreting text in response to one’s own thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, readers gain literacy skills that can be applied to other texts. Several strategies should be practiced to become and active and responsive reader. The key to becoming an active and responsive reader is to take notes on what is being read by creating visual notations about the main idea and supporting details. By taking notes, it’s then easier to recall the material and study it later. This also helps the reader understand what they’re reading with deeper meaning as opposed to just getting through an article (O’Byrne, 2018). This strategy is not only useful for reading articles but also for reading poems and short stories. Students can learn how to read fiction by concentrating on what they are reading in a story rather than just looking at words that have been strung together in a haphazard manner (O’Byrne, 2018). The next strategy requires to understand the primary goal for reading an article. By setting a goal, the reader is able to focus on grasping the content. The last strategy is to have a designated time for reading. By observing these strategies, the reader will be able to develop critical understanding of the literature article more so poems and essays.


Williams, W. C. (2018). The Red Wheelbarrow & Other Poems. New Directions Publishing.

O’Byrne, W. I. (2018). Empowering students as critical readers and writers in online spaces. In Best practices in teaching digital literacies. Emerald Publishing Limited. http://www.hkaect.org/jce/5(1)/JCE_5(1).pdf#page=14

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