Homework Help

Explain the meaning of the title of William Carlos William's poem "The Term."

user profile pic

brennerb | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 22, 2008 at 11:51 AM via web

dislike 2 like

Explain the meaning of the title of William Carlos William's poem "The Term."

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

reidalot | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 22, 2008 at 9:48 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

In the 1930's William Carlos Williams used the expression The Term to describe a literary movement in poetry where poems could be analyzed as objects in and of themselves to reveal truth. It is still questioned whether he named the poem after the movement or the movement was named after the poem. So, what is the truth revealed in this poem? The truth lies in the weakness of man; that is, "a rumpled sheet of brown paper" has more resiliency that we do as we are "crushed" when cars (life)run(s) over us in the harshness and brevity of this world. However, the brown paper can rise again unlike man. A truth to ponder!

user profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 23, 2008 at 3:27 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

I see this poem a little differently than the previous answerer, but that is part of what is so wonderful about poetry! It can be interpreted in many different ways.

I see the poem's imagery as representative of how humankind can go through horrible and tragic circumstances, but still rise up and continue on in their lives.  I see the poem as one that points out the resilience of humankind; not how humankind is "crushed" and cannot recover. 

user profile pic

frankie-saldana | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 3, 2011 at 6:22 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

good answers

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes