Thomas B. Whitaker: On "The Yachts"

"The Yachts," which has been much anthologized, combines a relaxed narrative mode with a sudden nightmare shift of image to render the mind's discovery of the relentless tyranny exercised by its own beautiful instruments--whether they be economic institutions, conquests over nature, or other images of ideal competence. The poem seems limited, however, by the very lack of preparation (and hence justification) for that sudden shift; we assent to it as a paradigm of something known outside the poem rather than find it inherently revelatory. The style also involves some redundancy, though it is powerful in its ominous leisureliness and its sometimes breathtaking swiftness (as in the last three lines).

From William Carlos Williams. Copyright © 1968 by Twayne Publishers, Inc.


Title Thomas B. Whitaker: On "The Yachts" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Thomas B. Whitaker Criticism Target William Carlos Williams
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 19 Oct 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication William Carlos Williams
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