Willow Poem By William Carlos William Summary, Notes And Line By Line Analysis In English


‘Willow’ is a poem written by William Carlos William. It is an inspirational poem that revolves around how one ought to be determined and resolute. 

About the Poet:

William Carlos William (1883-1963) was a notable Modernist poet. Interestingly, he was also a physician. Famous works of his include ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’, ‘This is Just to Say’, and ‘Paterson’. 

Explanation of the Poem:

It is a willow when summer is over,
a willow by the river
from which no leaf has fallen nor
bitten by the sun
turned orange or crimson.
The leaves cling and grow paler,
swing and grow paler
over the swirling waters of the river
as if loath to let go,
they are so cool, so drunk with
the swirl of the wind and of the river—
oblivious to winter,
the last to let go and fall
into the water and on the ground.

The poem begins with a willow tree that stood by the river after summer. This willow tree happened to be a tree that was unaffected by the hot summer, unlike other trees. Neither did it shed its leaves nor was it ‘bitten by the sun’ to turn ‘orange or crimson’ in colour.

Its leaves, in fact, only grew paler and clung on fast to the tree without falling into the ‘swirling waters of the river’. They remain ‘oblivious to winter’, remaining strong and being the last to ‘let go and fall’. 


This is a beautiful poem. Through the willow’s strength, it motivates one to fight on and not give up.