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I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold was inspired by the poem, “The Great Figure,” written by Demuth’s friend, William Carlos Williams:

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
firetruck
moving
tense
unheeded
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.

Read more about the interpretation of the painting as it relates to the poem: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-1010/art-between-wars/american-art-wwII/a/charles-demuth-i-saw-the-figure-5-in-gold
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