William Carlos: The Last Words Of My English Grandmother

The Last Words of My English Grandmother” is a poem by American poet William Carlos Williams. The poem is a short, simple reflection on the speaker’s grandmother, who is lying on her deathbed. The speaker reflects on her grandmother’s life and her final words, which seem to be a simple statement of longing for home and family. The poem is written in free verse and uses simple, everyday language to convey a sense of intimacy and personal connection.
The poem is not widely known, and it is not a major work of William Carlos Williams, but it is a good example of the spare and direct style that characterizes his poetry.

The poem is like this:

There were some dirty plates
and a glass of milk
beside her on a small table
near the rank, disheveled bed–

Wrinkled and nearly blind
she lay and snored
rousing with anger in her tones
to cry for food,

Gimme something to eat–
They’re starving me–
I’m all right–I won’t go
to the hospital.No, no, no

Give me something to eat!
Let me take you
to the hospital, I said
and after you are well

you can do as you please.
She smiled, Yes
you do what you please first
then I can do what I please–

Oh, oh, oh! she cried
as the ambulance men lifted
her to the stretcher–
Is this what you call

making me comfortable?
By now her mind was clear–
Oh you think you’re smart
you young people,

she said, but I’ll tell you
you don’t know anything.
Then we started.
On the way

we passed a long row
of elms. She looked at them
awhile out of
the ambulance window and said,

What are all those
fuzzy looking things out there?
Trees?Well, I’m tired
of them and rolled her head away.

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