Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to NOT be taken seriously

My favorite poem is The Red Wheelbarrow by WIlliam Carlos Williams:
so much depends upon
a red wheel barrow
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens.
It's short and it's sweet. There's so much that can be analyzed about it and I could talk about it forever. It's beautiful and simple and descriptive and attractively written. But what brought it to the front of my mind just now? Finding this gem while procrastinating:
Oh no. Please, no.

There is NOTHING satisfying about seeing a representation of my favorite poem inked onto the flabby arm of some middle-aged man with poor posture and a weight problem. William Carlos Williams would not have wanted this. The English concentrator in me wants to pay for his laser removal-surgery. 
Pudge-man's tattoo fails not only because it's an unattractive drawing of a wheelbarrow, but also because
  1. The poem contains no capital letters at all. This is part of its effect. All of his letters are capitalized. WRONG.
  2. His wheelbarrow is clearly not glazed with rainwater.
  3. His droopy bicep contains no white chickens at all.
  4. He probably thinks that this tattoo makes him seem learned and cultured. It doesn't. He just looks like a tool. For future reference, a tramp stamp of Shakespeare will also definitely not make you seem more educated. 
If he wanted to ruin William's work by inking it on himself, he should have at least had the entire scene drawn. The poem is really not that long and the scene is depicts is really not that complex.

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