William Carlos Williams' poem "Spring and All" is about how the beauty of spring slowly blossoms out of the dreary winter. Williams' poetry often focused on the details of ordinary people facing everyday situations.
The poem describes the current wintry landscape the poet sees and then moves to the visual images of spring in the poet's imagination. The poet is looking at the landscape near a hospital, where "bushes and small trees with dead, brown leaves under them" line the roadside. The sky is mottled with clouds, and a cold wind blows. Williams establishes a somber mood with these images.
The mood of the poem shifts as Williams begins to envision spring. He looks across the barren landscape and can see how "one by one" the evidence of spring emerges from "muddy fields brown with dried weeds." He knows that once the green grass grows, the "wildcarrot leaf" emerges. In addition, all of the rooted plants must "grip down and begin to awaken" for spring to come. The process is a gradual one, and the poet reminds readers of this as he describes nature slowly waking up at the beginning of spring. In his opinion, this is one of nature's great achievements.