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The subject in Bone, by C.

K Williams in my opinion conveys the innocence and wonder that children

see in life which adults and those with more mature, complex minds may miss or take for granted. Awe is
something we all experience, but I think children experience it on a completely different level than a
mature adult. We know that children tend to have open minds and open hearts and look at the world in a
different way than the rest of society. I also think he wanted to show death in a literal sense while
explaining the life that can accompany it along with positive outcomes. Not the cycle of life, but the
necessity of death to create life.
The first image that we see in Bone, is that of the title word a bone. In the first stanza, Williams
describes the bone in a dark, almost macabre way. He uses words that carry negative connotations such
as obsolete, gnawed shank, unrecognizable, grimy, black, ink, and grit. All of these words carry
some sort of meaning in other ways that make death a not-so-nice part of life. It almost carries a violent
view of death. One doesnt think of death as pleasant when corpses are unrecognizable and have been
The second image we see in bone is very similar to the first, but more specific. In the second and third
stanzas, Williams describes the bone, but here we start to see the poem take a turn for the positive, and
Williams starts to explain life through death, even life after death in a sense. One can imagine a close-up
of the bone and the process of decomposition on a much deeper level. Williams begins again with the
macabre, and uses words such as gnawing (again) decomposing and putrefying. All of these words
yet again describe the macabre side of death, but as mentioned earlier, the tone of the poem is changing
into one of life and awe.
In the third stanza, we finally get the image of the intricacies and awe that death holds upon those that
use it to live. As stated in the questions by Professor Carter, Williams creates the image of a place used
by tiny creatures to live and sustain life. He moves away from the macabre vocabulary used in the first
two stanzas and starts to speak in terms of wonder and beauty. You can almost imagine the excitement
the young boy experiences while thinking about death in a positive light. He questions death itself by
pondering Where will they transport the essence of it when theyre done? and goes on to ask How far
beneath He doesnt use words that describe death in a negative sense, instead he uses positive
connotations such as harvest and essence. Both of these words describe a positive place where
creatures thrive on abundance (cant harvest without abundance) and fortune (essence used in the sense
of providing for future generations).
The third and final image wrapped up the poem for me. In the fourth stanza, I imagined a young boy
staring at the bone in awe. I think he is so amazed in fact that he doesnt rush into the museum,
something that would normally be so alluring to a young boy that he wouldnt stop and see the bone.
However, he does stop, and so much so that his mother notices his interest and scolds him for it, telling
him to drop it, drop it, drop it with emphasis. The boy could have been so enthralled he didnt even
notice his mother repeatedly telling him to get rid of it because of its filth.
The first two images show the reader that death is not all fun and games. Williams describes death in a
literal and macabre sense so that the reader can relate to death as a negative thing. The second and third
stanzas relate to how death is actually required to support life, something I think is a main subject of the
poem. The other subject I found was the innocence and awe of childhood. All three images can be seen
through the eyes of the young boy as an amazed, innocent child who has nothing but questions about
what he sees in front of him. He is curious like most children, but his curiosity is shot down in the final
stanza. The final image wraps it up by showing the ignorance of his mother to see what he has seen and
experienced, and it is hard to imagine that she can miss everything he sees.