William Carlos Williams’s “Portrait of a Lady” expresses frustrating and often futile attempts to describe feelings and experiences through poetry. The author starts by comparing the lady’s thighs to appletrees (which, in my opinion, most ladies would be a little offended by) that touch the sky, then attempts to further describe the sky. He stumbles as he confuses the artists Watteau and Fragonard, then expresses his frustration with an “Agh!” and doubts the importance of the artists (“as if that answered anything”). He continues to struggle as he tries to define the shore, then doubts this choice of figurative language and turns instead to petals. To me, this poem is both an accurate description of the process of writing- a constant exchanging of some words for another, becoming distracted by some ideas, then turning back to the task at hand- and a comment on the frustration and near impossibility of translating emotion, experiences, and feelings into words.
What do you all think Williams was trying to say about poetry, and the creative process in general?