The Red Wheelbarrow

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(it seems to be my lot in life to improve the inadequate)

 

I’m being followed by a wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow.

Pulling my chickens in a wheelbarrow,

Wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow.

 

And if tha wond’rin’ “Is it red?”

Please thissen. I’ve not said.

And if you tha wond’rin’ “Is it red?”

Thou’ll have to imagine for thissen;

It’s all inside thi ‘ead.

 

I’m being followed….

 

And if tha thinks it’s got two wheels

Say, one that’s free and one that squeals,

And it tha thinks it’s got two wheels

It’s up to thissen to please thissen

And please thissen what tha feels.

 

I’m being followed…

 

And is it a slow un or else a quick un?

Depends on if it got some bricks in

And is it a slow un or else a quick un?

It’s certainly slower when it’s bricks in

But quickens if it’s just chickens.

 

Aye, t’builders bricks are heavy

But chickens ‘s dead light

T’bricks are sort o’ reddy

While t’chickens they are white.

 

I’m being followed by a wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow.

Pulling my chickens in a wheelbarrow,

Wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow.

◄ Veggie Stew

The Fairytale of New Britain (Lucky Man) ►

Comments

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Fkx

Sat 5th Jan 2013 21:38

Officially intrigued. You are correct, there is much more to this poem even after all the explanation and discussion. It may and will take several readings and musings for myself to get there. And ha, it will be a poem to revisit from time to time. And for that I have you to "blame" thank.

tony sheridan

Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:40

Hi John. LOVE THIS!! Take care, Tony.

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Greg Freeman

Fri 21st Dec 2012 19:31

Sheer genius, John.

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Tim Ellis

Fri 21st Dec 2012 16:51

John, you gotta play me that next time we meet! I'm not sure if I know the Cat Stevens' song, but I loathe the WCW excuse for a poem with passion.

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John Coopey

Thu 20th Dec 2012 14:50

The essence of the poem is in its initial ambiguity. I leave the reader to determine if the wheelbarrow is red.
"Ah!" I hear you say "It must be red because it's called 'The Red Wheelbarrow'"
"Ah" I reply "The title refers to another wheelbarrow".
Other important questions can indeed be answere.
We are left to ask "Where is the wheelbarrow going?" "Why are bricks sometimes pulled?" "Is its speed critical?"
Unlike WC Fields I am happy to expand.
The chickens are being taken to their death, smashed on the head by the bricks. They will the be brought back in the wheelbarrow (along with the bricks) and sold to the butcher for Christmas shoppers.
The gardener's name is Colin.
I am happy to elaborate on any other unexplained aspects of this difficult poem.

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Paul Maxey

Mon 17th Dec 2012 20:19

I like it John,its a big improvement on Cat Stevens original,it some how seems to make more sense! a wheel barrow might not sound as poetic as a Moon shadow but its a sight more useful in the garden!

regards Paul.

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winston plowes

Mon 17th Dec 2012 19:38

Great stuff John. Thank you. Wonder what WCW would have thought of this tribute/reincarnation/interpretation/reimagining/translation/elucidation/adaptation/rendering/parody/

or whatever you want it to be.

Win x

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 17th Dec 2012 15:33

Thanks for a bit of timely sparkle to help
brighten up the day. Tis music to my ears!

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Isobel

Mon 17th Dec 2012 12:44

Needless to say, I love it. I want to be a backing singer with a tambourine :)

I particularly liked the lines

"And if tha wond’rin’ “Is it red?”
Please thissen. I’ve not said.
And if you tha wond’rin’ “Is it red?”
Thou’ll have to imagine for thissen;
It’s all inside thi ‘ead."

for the way they tied in with the hunour of wheelbarrow thread.

I also liked

T’bricks are sort o’ reddy
While t’chickens they are white.

But I liked the whole thing in its entirety!



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Anthony Emmerson

Mon 17th Dec 2012 11:24

Personally I think you've irrevocably eclipsed WCW's original (possibly by a Moon Shadow.)

I am reminded of the new (and slightly dim) apprentice's first day on the building site. The foreman sent him off to the local builder's merchant to get a new wheelbarrow. He was gone some time, until at last the foreman spied him returning, with not one wheelbarrow, but two; one stacked inside the other. "What the hell's going on?" said the foreman, "I only asked you to fetch one wheelbarrow!" The youngster replied, "I'm not that daft; you didn't think I was going to carry it all that b****y way did you?

"Eat your heart out Yusuf Islam!

Regards,
A.E. :)))))

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