The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams

Summary: The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams is a poem that is about a firetruck that inspired the author to write about how the firetruck made him feel, see and hear the poem


Speaker - The author is the speaker about the firetruck

Section 1:

  • The speaker finds himself in the city while it was raining and a firetruck comes to his attention
  • The "figure 5" was a significant call to thought and consciousness on the red color of a firetruck
  • There's a sense of urgency among the different sounds that the speaker hears
  • The sounds are distinct and directly rushed to the speaker's mind in the night

Other Notes:

  • This is an actual event that William Carlos Williams experiences in a big city
  • A capture of sound into imagery inspired an artist by the name of Charles Demuth to convert the sounds that William Carlos Williams heard that night into a painting
  • This poem is using synaestheisia to describe to the audience of the speaker's experience of sound with colors and imagery

© 2009 copyright The Great Figure | William Carlos Williams