A response of William Carlos Williams’,"Sort of a Song."
The paths least traveled seldom contain little brush and adversity; however, these paths often conclude at places of beauty and wonder. In his poem, “Sort of a Song,” William Carlos Williams utilizes biblical imagery and enjambment to describe poetry’s effect on his journey through life as a writer, and the deterioration of English literature.
The bible holds many stories filled with adversity. Williams alludes to Eve’s temptation by ,”the snake.” He uses the metaphor of the snake hiding under “weed” to describe the common, tragic writer’s block he experiences. He wishes for “quick” and “sharp” words, but instead only finds himself “sleepless.” The snake tempts him with cliché “metaphor[s],” but Williams understands that a good writer is “quiet to wait” and only “strike[s]” the paper when inventing or composing. Williams uses the temptation of thoughtlessness to warn writers not to fall into the traps of one’s mind through a biblical allusion to the snake, which beguiled Eve.
Williams furthers his concept of thoughtless writing by emphasizing the importance of syntax through his utilization of enjambment. The poem contains uses of enjambment on every line. The enjambment shows the importance of syntax, but also accentuates the dangers of poor writing. Singling out “sleepless” and “the rocks” at the end of each stanza shows finality of the punishment for Williams places them at the end of each stanza, and the punishment – sleeplessness and a figurative stoning from literary peers.
Williams’ employment of enjambment and allusion subsume into a greater perspective on the deterioration of writing and Williams’ own struggle to find his style. Williams foreworns writers of merit, worldwide, of the dangers of carelessly made literature, and invites all to keep literature fresh.