Overture to a Dance of Locomotives Themes

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The most obvious theme of "Overture to a Dance of Locomotives" lies in the poem's affectionate, even jingoistic stance on the promise of technology and an industrialized America. For instance, the title itself is evocative enough. That a poet would think of trains arriving and leaving a large, crowded metropolis in terms of a dance suggest an unflagging appreciation for the wonder of modern transportation and invention. Instead of seeing the trains as ugly, tedious prisons that separate humans from nature, the poet finds them utterly human, engaging in typical human behaviors. Furthermore, Williams seems to suggest that his poem is merely an overture, a prelude for the real artistic experience—the trains. Traditionally, poets and writers would think of their work as art, but, here, Williams wants his poem to function as a mere overture to the more impressive performance.

Without question, futuristic...

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This section contains 885 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Overture to a Dance of Locomotives Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Overture to a Dance of Locomotives from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.