Thursday, October 11, 2007

IV The Adoration of the Kings

Please Post your explication of "IV The Adoration of the Kings" by William Carlos Williams here by Monday October 15th at 3:00p.m. This should give you time after school if you need computer access for whatever reason.


Laurie M 6 said...

A Mother’s Love

The poem “The Adoration of the Kings” by William Carlos Williams describes Pieter Breughel’s painting of the Nativity scene. In this poem describes Breughel’s art work in depth using imagery and description of the painting. Williams aids the audience in understanding Breughel’s purpose; conveying the love a mother has for her young.

Williams begins the poem by having the speaker set the scene for the reader he declares the “Nativity/which I have already celebrated” (1-2), which is the birth of Christ. The speaker describes the position of each person in painting. When the speaker examines the “Babe in its Mother’s arms” (3), this allows the reader to quickly look at the Virgin Marie and her baby son recognizing the love a mother has for her young. The speaker then moves on to examining the wise men. He mentions how the wise men were in their “stolen/splendor” (4-5) meaning that the attention is being taken by the mother and the babe. Joseph and the “soldiery” (6) are also in the presence of this Nativity scene. The speaker describes them as being in disbelief having “incredulous faces” (8). They are in shock because this was a virgin who gave birth to this young boy.

The poem now shifts from describing every aspect of the picture to explaining why the painting was painted. The speaker says Breughel the scene was “copied” (9) from the “Italian masters” (10). Although he is told to be copying the scene, it is of a different “mastery” (12). Telling the reader that the painting is not what most painters of this scene would convey it as. Breughel is different because he has a “resourceful mind/that governs” (14-15) he does not paint this scene in the same view as other painters. He cannot do what all others do, he just “accepted the story and painted/it in the brilliant/colors of the chronicler” (22-24). He is unique from the other painters in the fact that he paints this scene not just painting the spectators in depth but also the “downcast eyes of the Virgin” (25). The speaker emphasizes how the painter conveys the eyes of the Virgin as a “work of art” (26). Also her eyes show the “profound worship” (27) that she as well as the others have for her son.

Williams’ poem “The Adoration of the Kings” tells the story of the painting by Pieter Breughel. This poem tells the story of a young Virgin Marie who shows deep adoration for her son, the same love that a mother has for her children. Through this poem the audience sees the difference between Breughel’s painting and other painters who paint the nativity scene.

Rodney B5 said...

In the poem, "IV The Adoration of the Kings" by William Carlos Williams, the speaker analyzes the painting “The Adoration of the Kings” by Peter Brueghel. The speaker describes the painting in order to aid the audience into understanding the meaning of the painting. He goes in depth by describing imagines that are not caught quickly by the eye.

The speaker starts off the poem by saying “From the Nativity/which I have already celebrated” (1-2). This is where he sets up the setting. It is the birth of Jesus Christ with his mother. “the Babe in its Mother’s arms”(3). He then moves on to the people around Jesus and his mother, the Virgin. There seems to be many people around them and he begins to describe them. Among them are spectators in the background who have come to see the marvel of this baby’s birth and the wise men that bring gifts. The speaker describes the wise men “in their stolen/splendor” (4-5), which shows they are taking away the attention from the mother and son with just their presence. He continues by describing the look on the faces of the wise men, “With their incredulous faces” (8). Their faces of disbelief are a result of seeing a virgin who has given birth.

Once the painting is explained, more ideas are brought up about the reasons behind the painting itself. We also get the speakers ideas about religion. He mentions “the Italian masters” (10), showing a relation between the painting and other people. But continues to say “But with a difference/the mastery//of the painting” (11-13), showing it is actually original and great in its own. He also mentions “the mind the resourceful mind/that governed the whole” (14-15), to show his respect for the painter and giving him praise for doing what he did.

The speaker then makes a transition to the ideas that sparked the painting. “The alert mind dissatisfied with/what it is asked to/and cannot do//accepted the story and painted/it” (16-20). Through this, religious views are brought foreword. He explains how the painter has created the painting even though he does not believe in what is taking place in the picture. Not only does he explain how the painter doesn’t believe in Christianity, he also shows his disbelief with “the downcast eyes of the Virgin” (22). His decision to bring her up and describe her with “downcast eyes” reveals his true views of religion. He looks down at religion as it there only to force people into doing things that they would not normally do like the painter creating the painting. The speaker ends the poem by saying “as a work of art/for profound worship” (23-24), as if to mock religion. His use of the word profound gives a feeling of sarcasm. It was not needed there. The word could be easily taken out and the poem will still end and make sense. But with this word it ends the poem with the views he holds throughout everything.

The poem, "IV The Adoration of the Kings" creates a description and explanation of the painting “The Adoration of the Kings.” Not only does the speaker of the poem explain the painting, he also goes into more detail than what anyone would ever see and continues this with his and the painters views on religion. The audience gets a clear description on the painting with respect to religions purpose against the views of the speaker and the painter and their disbelief of Christianity.

Quan T 6 said...
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Quan T 6 said...

Adoration of the Overall Masterpiece
In the poem, “Adoration of the Kings”, William Carlos Williams uses religious diction and syntax which emphasize great magnitude to illustrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Williams describes every aspect present in Pieter Brueghel’s painting. At the birth of an infant, it is ideal to concentrate solely on the child and his mother, however Williams does not ignore any part of the painting. Throughout Williams’ collection of poems on Brueghel’s paintings, Williams views and expresses the artworks as a whole, emphasizing each part of the painting equally.

The first stanza of the poem directs the reader’s attention to the newborn infant within the painting. William begins the poem by referring to “the Nativity” (1). Nativity is accentuated, thus refers to the birth of Jesus Christ. In Christianity, this moment is imperative; however the speaker refers to this holy occasion as an event which he “already celebrated” (2). Williams demonstrates that the speaker has background knowledge of Christianity, but he does not show concern for its symbolism to the religion. The speaker perceives the painting merely as a “Babe in its Mother’s arms” (3). Williams’ emphasis on “Babe” (3) and “Mother” (3) confirm that these two people are widely recognized and respected. Although they are important, the speaker does explain their significance to the painting any further.

In the following stanzas, the speaker moves away from gazing at the infant and focuses on the atmosphere which surrounds him. In the speaker’s viewpoint, the Wise Men have “stolen/splendor” (4-5) away from Jesus. By describing the painting in this manner, Williams diverts the reader’s attention from Jesus and stresses on the envious nature of the Wise Men. The speaker also takes notice of the “incredulous faces” (8) on Joseph and the soldiery attendant. Again, the focus transfers to new faces. Williams depicts Joseph and soldiery attendant’s skepticism of Jesus’ significance to this divine painting. The Wise Men, Joseph, and the soldiery attendant contain proportional descriptions to that of Jesus.

Overall, Williams suggests that each portion of the painting is equally important as the others. He believes that Brueghel, is the “mind/that governed the whole,” (14-15) therefore, he does not emphasize one aspect of his painting more than another. Only as a whole, can this masterpiece be suitable “for profound worship” (24).

Simon M 6 said...
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Ricki L5 said...

In the poem "The Adoration of the Kings" by William Carlos Williams, Williams describes Pieter Breughel's painting of the Nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, the three kings, an of course, baby Jesus. Like Brueghel's other paintings, "The Adoration of Kings" depicts a higher power somewhere within the piece or within the ideas of the objects. Williams' describes the painting in order to further explain Bruegel's intentions of the painting. The purpose of "The Adoration of King" is to depict disbelief of many people in Christ, and how you must have faith in God, and religion.

Williams uses several adjectives of doubt to describe the faces of the onlookers. Several soldiers are in the background, looking on "with their incredulous faces"(8). The adjective incredulous proves the people in the painting are in disbelief of the newborn king. Religion, in this case specifically Christianity, asks us to believe that of which we cannot see. Williams makes this point clear in his poem. "the alert mind is dissatisfied with/ what it is asked to do/ and cannot do" (16-18). Williams is trying to describe how the people in the painting have trouble conceiving that they are seeing the son of god. Bruegel paints the uncertainty in their expressions to depict human nature, to not believe what they cannot understand. However, Williams writes that the painter Bruegel is a believer of Christ. Bruegel "accepted the story and painted/ it in brilliant/ colors of the chronicler" (19-21). Williams describes Bruegel using vibrant colors to show the miracle of the birth of Christ, and the purity of the nature.

The painting aids the purpose of faith. In the background, several men are armed with weapons, a usual symbol of war, death, pain, etcetera. However, the spears point towards the heaven's, where Christ is believed to have descended. The men are also not hostile, rather, they seem baffled at what they are witnessing really is the son of god. The men's faces further proves the uncertainty people have in what they cannot understand. The coloration of the men and the holy mother with the baby Jesus differ radically as well. Mary and Jesus are the first images noticed in the painting, as well as first images mentioned in the poem, and are most important. Mary and Jesus give off a faint glow about them, and in the middle of the painting, signifying their importance. The soldiers have all dull tones, browns and darker colors. The dark colors signify their clouded minds; whether or not to believe. Williams further explains the painting by contrasting the onlookers, with the Virgin and Child. In the end, he goes back to Mary and Jesus and describes the scene, ending with "the downcast eyes of the Virgin/ as a work of art/ for profound worship" (22-24). Williams leaves this final note to show how though Bruegel's painting, it all comes down to believing in the end when you've seen the way.

In conclusion, Williams describes the painting for the viewer to have a better understanding of the painter's intentions of the Lord and Mother Mary. Too many times, people cannot believe in something they cannot understand, but anything is possible.

Simon M 6 said...

Beauty of Nativity

In the poem "The Adoration of the Kings" by William Carlos Williams, the speaker suggests that Brueghel paints a scene of Nativity even though rejecting the story of how Jesus came to be. Regardless if a painter believes in the story of Nativity or not, it is a scene that is thought to be worth painting. The poem focuses on the details of the painting, helping the reader to understand the beauty of the image.

The poem begins “From the Nativity/which I have already celebrated” (1-2), indicating that the speaker enjoyed the occasion, the birth of Jesus. The speaker then describes scenes from the celebration, saying “the Babe in its Mother’s arms//the Wise Men in their stolen/splendor/and Joseph and the soldiery//attendant” (3-7). This points out the beautiful images from the Nativity in which a painter, such as Brueghel, would want to paint. It is a scene in which a baby is born and kings come to adore it. It is an interesting picture because kings are giving their attention to a small child and not the other way around. Painters allow Mary and the others to have “splendor” (5) not because of the miracle, but because the scene was serene and wonderful. Even the people “with their incredulous faces” (8) around the small infant do not believe Jesus comes from a virgin.

After describing the painting itself, the poem now shifts to how the painting is created. The speaker states that the scene was copied “from the Italian masters” (10), showing that other painters wanted to depict the scene as well. However, the painting was painted “with a difference” (11), demonstrating that Brueghel did not believe in Jesus’ birth. That difference is also “the mastery//of the painting/and the mind the resourceful mind” (12-15). The painting was painted with a technique of another sort, differing from the Italians. The image was conveyed without much nature at all. The picture focused on the overall artwork—how Brueghel took the soldiers, kings, and baby to create a coherent image.

Next, the speaker implies that the painter’s mind was “dissatisfied with/what it asked to/and cannot do” (16-18). The painter is not accustomed to creating work about Christianity. It is his mind that does not believe how the miracle of Jesus happens. But as a painter, it is hard to ignore such a beautiful scene. Therefore he “accepted the story and painted/it in the brilliant colors” (19-21). Here, the beliefs behind a miracle are of no importance to the painter, simply the magnificence of the image. Brueghel strokes the canvas with strong colors due to the strong attraction toward painters.

Williams shows no concern toward religion in his poem “The Adoration of the Kings”. He emphasizes the beauty that a painter looks for in a moment of time rather than the meaning behind them. Williams implies that Brueghel views the scene “as a work of art” (23) that is apt “for profound worship” (24).

Michael R. 6 said...

The Adoration of the Kings
In the poem, Adoration of the Kings by William Carlos Williams, the speaker depicts the scene of the Christian nativity as seen through the eyes of the painter, Pieter Bruegel. The poem’s language favors the depiction of the Kings over Jesus and his birth. Williams makes a reference to the “Italian masters” (10) or the renaissance painters who may have better illustrated the scene. The painting by Brueghel shows the Three Kings “in their stolen / splendor” (4-5) and the offering of their gifts to the newborn Jesus and his mother, Mary. The attention of the poem is focused on the Three Kings and what they have brought to the painting when attention should be focused on the birth of the savior, Jesus. This conflict is evident in the title of the painting itself. Bruegel’s purpose in his painting is explained through reading of the poem when Williams makes a reference to Bruegel being asked to do something but does not.
The title Adoration of the Kings foreshadows the speaker’s intent and where the poem will head in its language. The title conveys a sense of liking and worship towards the Three Kings rather than Jesus or Mary because they are not mentioned. The Kings are adored by the people in the painting surrounding Jesus and Mary. The eyes of the onlookers seem to wander more towards the gifts and the garments of the Three Kings. The kings have stolen the light from the monumental birth of Jesus and Williams chooses to elaborate on that in the poem.
The speaker begins with “From the Nativity / which I have already celebrated” (1-2), conveying the fact that William Carlos Williams may have been Christian who celebrated the birth of Jesus. An inference can be made that Williams has seen many depictions of the Nativity but finds Bruegel’s depiction special because it focuses on the grandeur of the Kings rather than on Jesus though most other Nativity scenes do the opposite. This focus on the Kings is evident when the speaker says “Joseph and the soldiery // attendant / with their incredulous faces / make a scene” (6 – 9) because they are gawking at the riches rather than Jesus. Williams uses what he notices right away after first looking at the painting in the beginning of his poem to establish this point of adoration towards the Kings and begins on why Bruegel chose to paint the picture the way he did.
Bruegel painted Adoration of the Kings “with a difference” (11) from the “Italian masters” (10) or renaissance painters who were known to depict scenes of Christianity with beauty and sometimes sarcasm. Williams makes this known when he writes “the alert mind dissatisfied with / what it is asked to / and cannot do” (16 – 18) showing that Bruegel does not choose to follow the standard that was set for him by the renaissance painters and their typical depictions of the Nativity. Williams’ use of many words and his choice for the placing of line breaks helps the reader infer that Bruegel was compelled to paint according to how the renaissance painters did. But Bruegel “cannot do” (18) it and so the Adoration of the Kings is a very different scene than any of the other Nativity scenes. Instead, Bruegel chooses to paint with a different kind of reality; the reality of the people staring at the Kings and not at Jesus; the reality of the people coming from far away to catch a glimpse of the gold worn by the rich. Williams’ accepts Bruegel’s view on the Nativity because it highlights the negative view on hoarding materialism found in his many socialist ideas.
The poem ends with a general feeling of acceptance as the speaker goes on to describe the painting “as a work of art / for profound worship” (23 -24). The use of many adjectives such as “brilliant” (20), “downcast” (22), and “profound” (24) all help to convey that sense of acceptance. The speaker’s language compliments Bruegel’s painting and what it is depicting as Williams switches from the painter’s purpose back to his view on the poem. In Adoration of the Kings, William Carlos Williams succeeds at exposing the overwhelming adoration for the Three Kings when the adoration should be felt for the baby, Jesus and his mother, Mary. Through the speaker’s use of suggestive language and the strategic placement of line breaks one feels as though Bruegel paints with individuality and goes against the accepted standard set by the “Italian masters” (10). The ending to Williams’ poem depicts his happiness and excitement in the ideas suggested by the painting almost as though he applauds the degrading of materialism accepts the reality presented of the Three Kings and their lavish prowess.

Kevin Ta 5 said...

Nativiy Mindset

In William Carlos Williams’s poem, “The Adoration of the Kings”, the speaker describes the birth of Jesus, also known as the Nativity of Jesus. Unlike in Williams’s other poems in Pictures from Brueghel, the speaker references numerous religious figures and symbols in this poem, in accordance to Pieter Brueghel’s painting of the same title, and describes little of the painting. Using specific facts and careful word choice, the speaker seems to imply that Brueghel painted the Nativity scene differently from his Italian predecessors.

To establish his legitimate knowledge, the speaker first conveys his familiarity of the Nativity of Jesus. “From the Nativity / which I have already celebrated”(1-2) starts off the poem. He explicitly states that he observes the Nativity of Jesus, hinting at his belief in the Christian faith. Thus, it would be unlikely for him to speak much about the poem without knowing the whole story behind it. Consequently, the speaker describes the main people in the Nativity with vivid detail. He mentions how “the Wise Men [are] in their stolen splendor”(4-5), inferring that the birth of Jesus redirected the attention that these kings were receiving, hence their adoration. Joseph and his soldiers are also “attendant with their incredulous faces”(7-8), in disbelief that a virgin gave birth. By accurately depicting the religious miracle, the speaker proves his comprehensive understanding of the Nativity of Jesus. He reassures the audience that he knows the actual scene well enough to recognize that Brueghel has somehow painted it differently.

The speaker shifts towards a different tone in the last line of the third stanza. Jesus, Mary, the Wise Men, Joseph, and Joseph’s soldiers all “make a scene copied… // from the Italian masters / but with a difference”(9-11). The speaker suggests that Brueghel’s painting of the Nativity is not the first; Brueghel may have tried emulating the great paintings of the Nativity before his time. However, he has made an important, yet subtle, difference that the speaker notices. The speaker brings up Brueghel’s mind, and states how “resourceful”(14) and “alert”(16) it is. Because of the obvious religious references of the subject of the painting he was going to paint, Brueghel’s state of mind notices this at once and is “dissatisfied with / what it is asked to / and cannot do”(16-18). Still, he “accepted the story and painted / it in the brilliant / colors”(19-21). Despite the content, the speaker concludes that Brueghel finishes the painting nonetheless. The “brilliant / colors”(20-21) may mean that previous works of the Nativity were painted in duller shades. The speaker gives insight into what Brueghel may have been pondering while contemplating his painting by using these carefully selected words. He portrays Brueghel as an artist with a different mindset, hence the different portrayal of the Nativity of Jesus.

Williams has the speaker accurately describe the Nativity, while also allowing him to compare Brueghel’s version to those of the previous Italian master artists. Although always regarded as a strictly religious art subject, the speaker finishes by calling Brueghel’s painting “a work of art / for profound worship”(23-24), signifying the painting as a creative piece of work as well as an act of holy devotion.

Steve T 5 said...

Incredulous and Pessimistic

The poem of "The Adoration of the Kings" derives from Williams' opinion. Williams looks upon the artwork of Brueghel and assumes the artist's thoughts by saying, -while the picture provokes religion and worship, Brueghel is dissatisfied with the particular content of the picture. The picture is of baby Jesus, and there are all these mixed thoughts on religion and Christianity, but in the end, everyone accepts it. That is what WIlliams believes Brueghel believes: Brueghel drew religion, accepting it, but has created characters in the picture that are dissatisfied with religion to show that the artist himself, is dissatisfied and is also uncertain about the thoughts on religion.
From the start of the poem, Williams' demeanor towards Christmas tells us that he doesn't celebrate it anymore. He states that he has already celebrated the nativity, indicating that he doesn't anymore in the present (1-3), while religion praises baby Jesus. Then, as he goes in depth of the event of the birth of baby Jesus, in stanza 2, he says "the Wise Men in their stolen / splendor." As if pointing out specifically that these men are just mere, sinful humans. Which they can be, but pointing out the negative, and not crediting the fact that they traveled to see baby Jesus from far is pessimistic towards them. And topping it off, William's describes Joseph and the soldiers who are participating in the event to have an incredulous expression (6-8). The faces in the picture have smiles, some are whispering to hear the specifics of the rare event, but Williams sees that the picture, is full of disbelief. Williams says they, the spectators, and the parents, don't fully believe that the baby is the baby Jesus told in the religion they have. Williams has no proof of his beliefs on the picture, he doesn't give any evidence of that, but he is greatly obsessing over his opinion that Brueghel has made characters that look incredulous and dissatisfied with the nativity, with the basis of Christianity. Williams writes, "the alert mind dissatisfied______////___accepted the story and painted" (16-18). The alert mind, being Brueghel's since he is the painter, is dissatisfied with the story of the nativity, but accepted it. Religion, being as important as it is, was accepted by Brueghel to be a work of art, but never believed the basis of Christianity itself, that is all what Williams believes.
This work of literature describes the meaning of Brueghel's work of art, in William's, the writer's, point of view. He thinks and states that Christianity is not believed by many, even Jesus' own parents at one point or another, and he believes that Brueghel thinks this way too. But religion is accepted because it is important, most people from idealists to realists say that. And considering it has lasted so long, there is no way to prove religion wrong- someone would have already destroyed it. Williams would have destroyed it if he had the chance, and he thinks Brueghel would have done the same if he had too. But Brueghel, in William's words, "painted it in the brilliant/ colors of the chronicler____as a work of art/ for profound worship" (19-end). So Brueghel accepts religion for being made and for lasting so long by making it a masterful piece of art, but will always be suspicious of it, as so many others do. That is what Williams believes.

Mark D5 said...

Per. 5

Explication of William Carlos Williams’ The Adoration Of the Kings

In the poem The Adoration of the Kings, William Carlos Williams point out Bruegal’s perception of nature and humans, not religion. The narrator starts the poem off by telling of the time when Jesus was first born. “From The Nativity/ which I have already celebrated” (1-2) . The narrator is stating that he has celebrated the birth of Christ. What is more important is if the narrator still celebrates the birth of Christ. That is how we can decide his tone on the poem. By stating “already” (2) it is implied that the narrator has once believe in and celebrated in Christianity but does not anymore. Understanding the narrators view on religion is what Williams wants the reader to do so they can understand what he is trying to point out in Bruegal’s painting.
The narrator then tells of the Wise men in the painting. “the Wise Men in their stolen/ splendor “( 4-5). The Wise Men are supposed to be lavished and admirable but the narrator is calling their splendor stolen. The words chosen do not give the reader a good attitude towards the Wise Men or in Christianity itself. Christians are supposed to look up to the Wise Men, they gave gifts to little baby Jesus and new he was the son of God. But in Williams’ poem he reduces them to nothing more than common criminals.
There have been many different painters in the past who have painted religious scenes. But Williams wants to point out that Bruegal is not another painter who wanted to capture a religious scene from the Bible. The painters from the past have definitely made work of art and they are beautiful but Bruegal was not going for a religious setting. “Make a scene copied we’ll say// from the Italian masters/ but with a difference” (9-11). The scene Bruegal paints is “copied” from the Italian masters but there is something different about it that the Italian masters did not care to interpret into their paintings. Bruegal wanted to take out the importance of religion and instead make the scene look like a simple birth in a run down barn with people bowing down to a small infant child. If just looking at the painting not knowing Christian religion and wonder why older nicely dressed men are kneeling and giving gifts to a peasant’s child. It seems absurd. This is what Bruegal wanted to show while painting his The Adoration of the Kings. Forget religion altogether, and think about what really is important, a newly born child into the world. That is what people should have been admiring, not the fact that people thought they were going to be saved by the son of God. That is just selfish and ignorant, giving gifts to the child and his parents in order to gain something in return.
“The alert mind dissatisfied with/ what it is asked to/ and cannot do” (16-18). The mind is being asked to believe that this is the son of God. But Bruegal didn’t want to or could not believe this fact. He wanted to point out the absurdity of bowing down to an infant because he is believed to be their savior. He could not believe that. But the Virgin Mary does not care if her son is the son of God. “the downcast eyes of the Virgin/ as a work of art/ for profound worship.” (25-27). All Mary cares is about her child. Her eyes are not looking anywhere but her child. She almost has a face on like she doesn’t even know that the others are in the barn. She has profound worship for her son, not the son of God. And that is what Williams wants to point out. To care for a person not for greed and to get something out of return, care for someone out of pure love.