It Is a Small Plant

William Carlos Williams

 
It is a small plant
delicately branched and
tapering conically
to a point, each branch
and the peak a wire for         
green pods, blind lanterns
starting upward from
the stalk each way to
a pair of prickly edged blue
flowerets: it is her regard,         
a little plant without leaves,
a finished thing guarding
its secret. Blue eyes—
but there are twenty looks
in one, alike as forty flowers         
on twenty stems—Blue eyes
a little closed upon a wish
achieved and half lost again,
stemming back, garlanded
with green sacks of         
satisfaction gone to seed,
back to a straight stem—if
one looks into you, trumpets—!
No. It is the pale hollow of
desire itself counting         
over and over the moneys of
a stale achievement. Three
small lavender imploring tips
below and above them two
slender colored arrows         
of disdain with anthers
between them and
at the edge of the goblet
a white lip, to drink from—!
And summer lifts her look         
forty times over, forty times
over—namelessly.
 

Poems by This Author

A Love Song by William Carlos Williams
What have I to say to you
Approach of Winter by William Carlos Williams
The half-stripped trees
Asphodel, That Greeny Flower [excerpt] by William Carlos Williams
Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
Complaint by William Carlos Williams
They call me and I go
Complete Destruction by William Carlos Williams
It was an icy day
Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams
If when my wife is sleeping
Details for Paterson by William Carlos Williams
I just saw two boys
For the Poem Paterson [1. Detail] by William Carlos Williams
Her milk don't seem to
For the Poem Paterson [3. St. Valentine] by William Carlos Williams
A woman's breasts
Gulls by William Carlos Williams
My townspeople, beyond in the great world
Landscape With The Fall of Icarus by William Carlos Williams
According to Brueghel
Marriage by William Carlos Williams
So different, this man
Peace on Earth by William Carlos Williams
The Archer is wake
Poem [Daniel Boone] by William Carlos Williams
Daniel Boone, the father of Kentucky
Poem [on getting a card] by William Carlos Williams
on getting a card
Queen-Anne's-Lace by William Carlos Williams
Her body is not so white as
Smell by William Carlos Williams
Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed
Spring and All [By the road to the contagious hospital] by William Carlos Williams
By the road to the contagious hospital
Spring and All, XIV by William Carlos Williams
Of death
Spring Storm by William Carlos Williams
The sky has given over
Summer Song by William Carlos Williams
Wanderer moon
The Descent by William Carlos Williams
The descent beckons
The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
Among the rain
The Hurricane by William Carlos Williams
The tree lay down
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
so much depends
The Uses of Poetry by William Carlos Williams
I've fond anticipation of a day
The Widow's Lament in Springtime by William Carlos Williams
Sorrow is my own yard
This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
To a Poor Old Woman by William Carlos Williams
munching a plum on
To Elsie by William Carlos Williams
The pure products of America
Tract by William Carlos Williams
I will teach you my townspeople
Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams
All the complicated details


Further Reading

Poems about Plants
Counting What the Cactus Contains
by Pattiann Rogers
Heaven for Stanley
by Mark Doty
Herb Garden
by Timothy Steele
Trees
by Joyce Kilmer