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Introduction & Overview of Overture to a Dance of Locomotives by William Carlos Williams

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Overture to a Dance of Locomotives.
This section contains 211 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Overture to a Dance of Locomotives Summary & Study Guide Description

Overture to a Dance of Locomotives Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on Overture to a Dance of Locomotives by William Carlos Williams.

Introduction

Written at the end of 1916 and the beginning of 1917, "Overture to a Dance of Locomotives" remains one of Williams' most intriguing poems, as it signifies a number of different things to various readers. Although the poem did not appear in print until 1921 in his collection of poems Sour Grapes, the poem did make an appearance when Williams read it in New York City at the 1917 Independents Exhibition held by the Society of American Artists in the spring of that year.

The occasion of the poem is the hustle and bustle of people, porters, and passenger trains in Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Porters yell train numbers and times, passengers rush to the correct track to get on their trains, and the trains themselves smoke and churn in the station, anxious to put their modernist muscle to work. But rather than represent this scene as chaos, Williams suggests that the landscape before the reader is an artistic landscape, and the station is a kind of museum. His language in describing the station and the throngs of people is sympathetic, artistic, lyrical. He even arrests his narrative about porters and passengers to describe the light filtering through the windows, as if the station is some sort of cathedral to modern industry.

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This section contains 211 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Overture to a Dance of Locomotives Study Guide
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Overture to a Dance of Locomotives from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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