First of all, a little apology: I have not included a number of things in my discussion of the poem:
- maybe, and above all, the colours in the poem in terms of the American flag and what that might mean for the poem: suddenly the poem does not just model a world, but an American world as an alternative to stereotypes about the United States;
- secondly, an analysis of sound in the poem: the wonderful glide of "glazed with rain / water" (long vowels, liquid 'w' and nasal 'n') emphasizes the "glazing", and the crisp combination of short vowels and plosives of "beside the white / chickens" mimicks the way chickens walk, and adds to their individuality, but also their non-reducibility. I may also have overdone the 'farm'-element; a reference to the chickens as 'domestic animals' or 'productive livestock' would have achieved a similar effect;
- finally, the shape of each couplet: it's a wheelbarrow (thanks to Marta for pointing this out).
O.k., now as to the description: this is an analysis of William Carlos Williams' well-known poem "The Red Wheelbarrow", with special emphasis on the world the poem creates.
Behind part of this interpretation, there is a tool of fictional analysis developed by Daniel Candel Bormann and published in
- Semiotica (2013, 195): http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/semi.2013.2013.issue-195/sem-2013-0031/sem-2013-0031.xml?format=INT
- Poetics Today (34 [1-2], 2013): http://poeticstoday.dukejournals.org/content/34/1-2.toc
- UTB (Literatur interpretieren - ein Analysetool, 2013): http://www.utb-shop.de/autoren-1/candel-bormann-daniel.html
- Summary in YouTube: http://youtu.be/3Jh1NcVHWCw
Special thanks to Paul Headrick, whose excellent 'Wiley Guide to Writing Essays About Literature' first introduced me to this poem.