The first poem in William Carlos Williams's 1923 collection Spring and All, it has no title, but has come to be known by the name of the collection. It is probably Williams's third most famous poem, after "The Red Wheelbarrow" and "This is just to say," and is one of the best examples of Williams's penchant for taking tired, ordinary English words and forcing them to mean in new ways.

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—-a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—-Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

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