The Art of Life Art is a beautiful part of life and although often times unnoticed, connects with many aspects of one’s daily life. One definition of art is: skilled workmanship, distinguished from nature. In the poem, “Haymaking”, by William Carlos Williams, ideas about art and nature and how they connect with the daily tasks of peasants’ life is integrated throughout the poem. Williams suggests this through his use of diction, three line stanzas, and lack of punctuation, which pull out important words and images of the poem. This sixth poem, “Haymaking” is a part of the collection of nine poems by Williams and are all written about one of Peter Brueghel’s paintings. These nine paintings and poems share the belief of humanism, which is a theory that believes in the satisfaction of humans in their natural environment, paying no attention to the importance of God. All of Brueghel’s paintings reveal the simplicity of nature and humans. The landscape and humans are the largest images in his paintings, while images associated with religion are tucked away and not easily noticed. Brueghel’s paintings were painted during modernist times when there were new scientific discoveries which made people question their religion. In the poem “Haymaking” the everyday lives of peasants is revealed as they are laboring in open the fields. The speaker of the poem begins the poem by saying that, “The living quality/ of the man’s mind/ stands out//”(1-3). These three short lines reveal that there is importance associated with human beings and their quality of life. Williams’ word choice, “/stands out//”, suggests that these peasants’ way of life is different and interesting. In the next three lines the speaker continues to discuss the quality of man’s life, “and its covert assertions/ for art, art, art!/”(4-5). These two lines suggest that the minds of the peasants in this painting may contain secret ideas about art. Also the exclamation point after the last art is the only punctuation point through out this poem. This suggests the significance of art to the peasants and farmers in the painting. Also the fact that William’s wrote “art” three times suggest its importance to the peasants. These lines also reveal that the peasant and farm workers might have a secret interest in art and becoming an artist but are unable to pursue it. This is ironic because although these average peasants have secret desires to be artists, in reality they are artists in their own right. The peasants or the haymakers have the craftsmanship to turn grass into hay, which provides food for their horses. The speaker continues to discuss art and the “painting// that the Renaissance/ tried to absorb/but//it remained a wheat field/”(6-10). These lines suggest that there was an explosion of new art during the Renaissance, and although painters tried to paint the wheat field, they remained normal wheat fields in which the peasants worked. The peasants continue to work in the wheat field, “over which the/wind played//”(11-12). The personification of the wind in this line suggests that the peasants’ lives were rather care-free and unstructured. This is interesting because one of the images in Brueghel’s paintings, which is often associated with structure and rules, is the church. The image of the church in “Haymaking” is tucked away in the landscape behind the workers. This suggests that although the peasants were religious people they did not let the restrictions and structure of the church affect their working with nature. The peasants continue to work in the fields with their “scythes…”(13) and are “tumbling the wheat in rows//”(13-15). These lines reveal the tasks of the peasant workers and another way they use their craftsmanship to provide for nature. The poem continues, discussing “the gleaners…”(16), who are “…already busy/”(16), collecting hay. Finally Williams writes, “it was his own/magpies/the patient horses no one could take that from him//”(16-21). These last lines discuss peasant workers’ as he talks about his horses and magpies which he is thankful to have. They seem to be things that are close to his heart and he cares deeply for them. Both horses and magpies are animals that are a part of nature and no body can take them away from the peasants. This suggests that nature and animals play an important role in the peasants’ lives. They basically live to work and care for nature. Overall this poem reveals the lifestyle of peasant society and how they devote their lives to perfecting their skills or art, and their contributions to nature. Williams’s use of three line stanzas and word choice help the reader to discover the important ideas and images of the poem.
In the series of painting by Pieter Brueghel the paintings share a common theme. Instead of creating a center of attention he diverts our attention to the objects around it, by getting us to look at the painting overall. In the poem Haymaking, the poet William Carlos Williams suggests that people are still in the process of looking for the meaning of the human world. William Carlos Williams creates the meaning of the poem with his many strong choices of word, tone, and punctuation. In the first stanza of the poem the speaker diverts our attention to the main topic by saying “the living quality of/ the man’s mind/ stands out” (1-3), he chooses his words wisely to catch our attention because the tone is almost given out like a statement of which is people are interested in the capability of how their minds work. Then he says that “its covert assertions/ for art, art, art! /painting” (4-6). He infers that people are interested in finding out the hidden force or if there’s a higher being is connected to the human mind. The exclamation mark is being used to exclaim that people are excited to understand the art or painting of their human minds. The speaker then uses a reference to further his meaning and that was the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a time of revival through art, literature, and learning in Europe during the 14th century and extending to the 17th century, where the people advanced forward also known as the medieval to the modern world. The speaker says “that the Renaissance/ tried to absorbed” (7-8) the understanding of the human world. Then he infers to the field of wheat in the wind that only touches the surface of it but hasn’t grasped the roots, or depth in understanding of the human world. Williams then takes us to the actual painting of Brueghel’s Haymaking. He starts to describe the painting of the workers working in the field trying to find a deeper meaning just as how the people during the renaissance would have. And that is how William Carlos Williams suggests that people are still in the process of looking for the meaning of the human world.
Hay in the Making Haymaking has been well known for ages and is a process that requires many steps in order to accomplish to solely be used as forage. The steps required to making hay are mowing, tedding, raking, and finally baling. In the poem, “Haymaking,” by William Carlos Williams, haymaking is a combination of science and art that peasants or farmers devoted in order to achieve their goal was known throughout the poem. It required great timing to coincide with plants growth and weather conditions. Haymaking in the past was not a simple obligation to succeed in with the technology that they had but Williams suggests that the task of making hay is an important task that was necessary for peasants’ to fulfill. The poem is from one of the nine paintings of Pieter Breughel titled, “Haymaking.” In the canvas that Breughel painted, it is clearly known that haymaking was important to peasants as their obligation was to make hay and how everyone works to achieve this important task. In the poem, “Haymaking,” the importance of making hay to peasants was not just for labor but a responsibility that everyone had to cooperate in order to accomplish their tasks. The speaker of the poem begins with, “The living quality of/ the man’s mind/stand out//” (1-3). These lines state that the speaker knows the quality of life that the peasants had as haymakers. Instead of using the words “quality of life”, Williams’s word choice of “living quality,” suggests that haymaking may be something that may last for quite a long time. The next two lines include “and its covert assertions/for art, art, art! /” (4-5). The speaker here suggests that haymaking is a hidden art that is to be declared. The fact that art is repeated three times may be because of the steps in making hay. Making hay is an art where instead of stroking paintbrushes to finish up a work of art, the peasants mow hay, rake them, and then finally gather it all up into piles. Also to include the exclamation point, it is the only punctuation that is known in the poem, and throughout all of the other poems in the Pictures from Breughel. It appears that it is there in order to emphasize the repeated words art. That what haymakers themselves do, is an art. Then the speaker continues on and says “painting//that the Renaissance tried to absorb/but//it remained a wheat field” (6-10). These lines states that during the Renaissance, many great artists tried to capture the view of haymaking and how difficult it was to accomplish but in the end the artists would end up with only wheat fields, so it suggests that the real importance was to capture the peasants and farmers who worked to accomplish the tasks of haymaking. The speaker then says “men with scythes tumbling/the wheat in/rows//” (13-15). Talks about how the men, peasants gathers all the hay up into rows as piles. It continues to discuss how the workers work, “the gleaners already busy/it was his own-/magpies//the patient horses no one/” (16-19). These lines suggests the importance of how everyone has a specific duty to accomplish, the gleaners collects grain left by the reapers and magpies is to collect or hoard small objects. The patient horses also have their own duties to help the peasants accomplish their tasks, while they help the peasants they wait patiently for their hay to be prepared for the winter. Finally the speaker finishes with “could take that/from him” (21-22). This suggests that no one else can copy this kind of painting, or paint this type of painting because he is the first to accomplish is own art. Breughel painted a great picture of haymaking, suggesting that he painted in the key importance of haymaking. In conclusion, this poem and painting shows and appreciate the hard labor of haymaking as well as its importance for peasants. The poem not only states how it is an art but demonstrates how devoted the peasants are to accomplish their tasks in haymaking. Williams and Breughel accomplishes the idea in both literature and art that the hay is not as important as the peasants who complete their duties to achieve their goal.
Faedhra.W. 6The dazzling life of a peasant. In the poem, Haymaking, by William Carlos William; the speaker interpret the painting Haymaking by Pieter Bruegel. As he tries to make vivid what Bruegel wants his readers to learn from his “art” work. The wheat field and the peasants working in it are the major focus of the painting. William’s poem is really unique as he uses repeatedly those three line stanzas as he shows his lack of punctuation with the exception of the exclamation after the words art to point out how the life of the working man is a beautiful thing. William begins his poem with those three stanzas “ the living quality of/ the man’s mind/ stands out //”(1-3) those three lines shows how highly he thinks of the peasants. The word living, which could means ongoing, strong or operative shows that the traits of the “/man’s/” intelligence will “/stands out//” the workers creativity , talents and wisdom can be see from the way they eagerly do their work with so much precaution and also with so much passion and love for their environment. Every moves they make starting from what they want to cultivate, what part of the field should be used , how to carry their scythes or how to ride an horse is done in a beautiful manner. William wants the readers to know that whatever the working man does, if he does them carefully by using his mind, his work will “/stand out//”. However, the human mind will not only stands out but also William shows “ /its covert assertions/ for art, art, art!/”(4-5) William continues with the poems and the “paintings/ that the renaissance tried to absorb/ but// it remained a wheat field/” (6-10) shows how every touch any renaissance painters made to improve a “painting//” such as this one by trying to make it look cleaner is wasting their time. This work field is perfect it does not matter if the man’s cloth are weary, or if they are bare feet all this should not be left out because this view is what represent the unique and beautiful ways of how the peasants lives their life . This is art for William Carlos William. This life will always shows hard working man In the wheat field all line up horizontally “ over which the/ wind played//(11-12) whispering gossip as with their scythes cutting with a beautiful way the wheat in rows. As Williams concludes, he shows “ the gleaners already busy/(16) so busy the work had became so important , every workers with its cutter cutting down wheat with such an order and sequence that those repeated noise was compared to a “magpies//”. Finally, Williams stated “ the patient horses no one/ could take that/ from him//” ( 18-21) those last three lines stanzas reveals that the comparison of the quality of a horse to a peasant. A horse is know as a solid -hoofed herbivores, domesticated since prehistoric time and can do various work. Someone who works hard all their life to do whatever the set their mind too whether fro being the first person who discovered electricity , or someone who works their all to produce hay. Nothing and “ no one/ could take that/ from him//” Throughout this poem , William was able to show how beautiful the working life of a peasant can be as they work in the direction of the wind with their scythes in their hand making beautiful sound just like a group of magpies migrating somewhere else.
Nature’s BountyIn “Haymaking”, by William Carlos Williams, Williams portrays the lives of haymakers as they distance themselves from the modernizing society far off in the background of the painting. He demonstrates how their lives are unchanged as they remain close to nature, through short, three lined stanzas with little punctuation and simplicity of word choice. “Haymaking” ties in with Williams’ other poems regarding Brueghel’s paintings, which stress sustenance off of nature and display the lives of humans as they transition into modernism. In the first three lines of the poem, the speaker states that “The living quality of/the man’s mind/stands out”(1-3). He suggests that the peasant’s way of thinking differs perhaps from the outlying society in the background. Williams describes this quality of thinking as “living”, demonstrating that the peasants will continue thinking this way until their minds cease to exist. The minds of the peasants make “covert assertions for art, art, art!”(4-5), as they declare their art of haymaking and way of life positively, however, in secrecy and concealment. Williams stresses the significance of the word art through repetition and usage of exclamatory punctuation. This magnifies the peasants’ love of their way of life in haymaking, as Williams only uses punctuation one time throughout the entire poem. Lines six to ten coincide with the mention of art in lines four to five. The peasant’s art of haymaking is represented as a “painting//that the Renaissance/tried to absorb”(6-8). The Renaissance, a time when medieval life transitioned into Modernism, did not integrate the art of haymaking into itself. Thus, the rural area where the peasants worked and lived did not change and “remained a wheat field/over which the wind played”(10-12), as opposed to the society in the background which modernized. Williams personifies the wind to show how nature communicates with the peasants. He also shows how the peasants respond to nature, as “men with scythes tumbl[e]/the wheat in/rows”(13-15). The peasants and nature have a close and familiar relationship, as if between humans. The words Williams chooses, playful and tumble, signify a physical relationship between the peasants and nature. There exists a certain understanding, closeness, intertwining between the peasants and nature, where the peasants’ lives seem carefree and relaxed, as nature interacts so peacefully with them.In lines seventeen to twenty-one, Williams continues to display the closeness between the peasants and nature, while describing the peasant’s refusal to leave the sustenance that nature provides. The strong bond that the peasants possess with nature is shown, as “[nature] was [their] own-/magpies//the patient horses no one/could take that/from [them]”(17-21). Williams suggests that the peasants felt that nature belonged to them, and perhaps no one else. Nature provides the peasants with fields for their haymaking, and animals to assist them. The peasants try to keep what they currently have that is affiliated with nature. They to continue living their current lifestyle, and do not want to be thieved of their possessions. Williams interprets Brueghel’s painting very deeply and uniquely. Through his simple, yet infinitely complex poem, humans are shown with a certain relationship with nature that is beautiful. The isolated peasants with their task and art of haymaking understand nature far more deeply than the society portrayed in the background. It seems as if nothing could separate the peasants from their coexistence with nature, be it society or even time.
The Devotion to NatureIn William Carlos William’s collected poems, “Pictures from Brueghel”, William turns to Pieter Brueghel the Elder for his collection of paintings, transforming them into detached yet descriptive poems, which all depict the lives of low-life peasants. Although it would be assumed that peasant life in the 1960s was vigorously difficult and a strenuous experience, peasants were still able to maintain a wondrous life by focusing and interacting with nature. Represented by the VI poem of the collection, “Haymaking,” William uses unusual punctuation to establish tone, careful word choices, and metaphors to convey the merry lives of laboring peasants and their devotion as they prepare for hay making.In the first stanza, the speaker talks about the overall significance of the poem. The speaker says, “The living quality of/ the man’s mind/ stands out” (1-3). By definition, quality is an essential or distinctive characteristic, property, or attribute. In this case, living quality refers to the living characteristics of peasants such as how they work because the poem is entitle “Haymaking” which involves laboring low class peasants. The stanza indicates that the quality of a man’s live is determined by how they perceive it because it is the “man’s mind” (2) that controls how a person wants to live their life. This is what “stands out” (3) in the poem as it sets up the idea of the poem that life is how a person makes it and wants it to be. It is also the person who chooses what they want to do and to the peasants, hay making is a part of their culture and everyday life.The poet uses unusual punctuations in the following lines, “covert assertions/ for art, art, art!” (4-6), to set up the tone for the poem. When the speaker mentions art, he repetitively says it 3 times, indicating something important about art, which represents the art of hay making. The poem itself doesn’t include much punctuation so when it is used, it is emphasizing a strong feeling to the poem. It appears as if the speaker is expressing a serious tone because there is an exclamation point at the end of “art, art, art!” and because exclamation points usually manifest power to words. The line also shows the strong devotion of the peasants to the art of hay making as “covert assertions” (4), in other words, translates to a secret declaration. Nevertheless, the secret declaration of art “stands out”(3) as a theme in the poem.Then the speaker mentions the “Renaissance” (7). The Renaissance era was a time of new art and better changes, but the peasants remain fond to their culture as everything “remained a wheat field” (10). Because the peasants were true to their lifestyle, they didn’t give up their art of hay making for something new and better. The men continue to work the open fields with “scythes tumbling/ the wheat in/ rows” (13-15). They work in harmony as each pile of hay is lined up in rows and the even the gleaners, grain gathers, are busy working. Although a gleaner has a difficult job of collecting grain carefully, “it was his own – Magpies” (17-18). Magpie is a type of bird known to be called the bird of joy or happiness, metaphorically symbolizing the hay making peasants for their joy and happiness in the life that they have. Like “patient horses” (19), the peasants devote hours patiently into hay making to provide sustenance for animals and nature and “no one can take that” (21) away from them.By examining William Carlos Williams ’s distinct poetry writing methods including his usage of language, words, and metaphors or symbols, it’s understood that William does not only write descriptive poems but actually conveys a much deeper meaning where happiness is only attained when one is with nature because nature in the end empowers all.
A Hopeful Downfall The life of a peasant can be seen as a bundle of hay rolling around a constant therefore predictable track. Peasants are bound to do their every day tasks with no real motivation or meaning behind them. In the poem “Haymaking”, William Carlos Williams tells a story about the real life of peasants in his attempt to describe Haymaking, a painting by Pieter Brueghel. The evident story begins with a hopeful start, a disastrous climax, and surprisingly enough, a still very hopeful ending. The story is that of the birth of the humanist believes during the Renaissance era. In fact, this is a constant theme throughout Breghel’s paintings. They all portray people of the Third Estate interacting with nature in the attempt to achieving human fulfillment. Unfortunately this humanistic goal is not attained by any of them. Like in Haymaking, the peasants that appear in the other paintings are not successful. But regardless to their failure, they are struggling with hope to one day truly be fulfilled. The speaker in “Haymaking” starts out by stating the most obvious; “The living quality of/ the man’s mind”(1-2) which refers to the working conditions of the peasants and their hope for humanistic success. The people in the painting are poorly dressed in peasant type clothing, each with a tool in hand. They are all working the land and in one way or another, they are benefiting from nature. The fact that they are all holding some sort of tool suggests that they are willing to work hard to fix their society and build a place in which their personal fulfillment is of great value. They are benefiting from nature is foreshadowing what they hope will happen once humanism is established. They are working diligently and their “covert assertions/ for art, art, art!” (4-5), or change, sizzles within them. The speaker continues by saying that the secret affirmation for change remains “a wheat field/ over which the wind played” (10-12). Although the peasants have worked hard for a humanistic society, they have achieved nothing. Their lives are still congested like a “wheat field”, full of orders and commands that are played over them like the wind. The speaker suggests that peasant’s lives have not found a deviation. They are living their predestined lifelines that have been marked like “the wheat in/ rows” (14-15). Regardless to their failure to achieve a change, the peasants have kept their aspiration for better life styles. The speaker of the poem compares the workers to animals and says, “the patient horses no one/ could take that/ from him” (19-21). The downfall of a humanistic society has taken everything but their hope. Like patient beasts the workers continue to work with the optimism that one day, change will come, and they will find fulfillment. Further more, they peasants are all still holding their tools, which is also a sign of determination for something more. William Carlos Williams writes the poem “Haymaking” with the attempt to tell a story. Through his use of word choice, foreshadowing, and comparison Williams tells the story of the people of the Third Estate. He states that although the lives of peasants are a never-changing cycle of struggles, they live with hope to one day achieve change and self-fulfillment.
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