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William Carlos Williams: Selected Poems (1968)

de William Carlos Williams

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Before William Carlos Williams was recognized as one of the most important innovators in American poetry, he commissioned a printer to publish 100 copies of "Poems" (1909), a small collection largely imitating the styles of the Romantics and the Victorians. This volume collects the self-published edition of "Poems", Williams' foray into the world of letters, with previously unpublished notes he made after spending nearly a year in Europe rethinking poetry and how to write it. As "Poems" shows his first tentative steps into poetry, the notes show him as he prepares to make a giant transformation in his art. Shortly after "Poems" appeared, Williams went through a series of experiences that changed his life - a trip to Europe, a marriage to the sister of the woman he genuinely loved, and the establishment of his medical practice. In Europe he was introduced to a consideration of an unlikely trio: Heinrich Heine, Martin Luther, and Richard Wagner, resulting in an exposure that subsequently influenced his developing style. Williams looked back on Poems as apprentice work, calling them, "bad Keats, nothing else - oh well, bad Whitman too. But I sure loved them...There is not one thing of the slightest value in the whole thin booklet - except the intent", and never republished the collection. Now that Williams' work is widely read and appreciated, his reputation secure, his development as a poet is a matter worth serious study, "Poems" can be seen as a point of departure, a clear record of where Williams began before his life and ideas about poetry made seismic shifts. Virginia M. Wright-Peterson's succinct introduction puts "Poems" in the context of his life and times, discusses the reception of the volume, his reconsideration of the poems, and what they reveal about his poetic ambitions.… (mais)
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Exibindo 3 de 3
the faces are raised
as toward the light
there is no detail extraneous


You know, I credit Mike Puma with this turn, oh and Robert Zimmerman and maybe Ezra Pound. All these loose associations led a curious thrust into verse these last days of 2015. It might prove habit forming. There is something remarkable to wake from a deep slumber and find traction into verse. My initial encounters were ill defined. Form was found as I progressed.

Without other cost than breath
and the poor soul,
carried in the cage of the ribs,
chirping shrilly


The world of Williams appear to exist as a collection of things. There's stuff and some of it is alive. We are enriched by this awareness, if not the distinction. There doesn't appear to be any greater point. There is a melody then of thing-ness. I am quite tempted to now approach his long-form verse. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
I love the concept that Williams tried to invent a poetic form centered on everyday circumstances and “images” in America, and I also love that he tutored young poets including Allen Ginsberg, but sadly I’m not a fan of his poetry.

The “Red Wheelbarrow” is oft-quoted but I include it here; it’s what attracted me to give him a try:

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

besides the white
chickens. ( )
  gbill | Nov 22, 2011 |
Having acquired a BA (Hons) in the 1970s majoring in Eng Lit without ever reading any WCW, I thought it wouldn't be a crime now to read more than 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and 'This is just to say' ... And indeed the book is an education and a joy. I did go hunting for learned commentary so as to deepen my appreciation of the poetry, and had the perverse pleasure of deciding that in some cases at least I would trust my own reading over that of the scholar.
2 vote shawjonathan | Oct 31, 2007 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Williams, William Carlosautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Breughel, PieterArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jarrell, RandallIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tomlinson, CharlesEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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It is this eye for this thing that most distinguishes Charles Sheeler - and along with it to know that every hair on every body, now or then, in its minute distinctiveness is the same hair, on every body anywhere, at any time, changed as it may be to feather, quill, or scale.
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Before William Carlos Williams was recognized as one of the most important innovators in American poetry, he commissioned a printer to publish 100 copies of "Poems" (1909), a small collection largely imitating the styles of the Romantics and the Victorians. This volume collects the self-published edition of "Poems", Williams' foray into the world of letters, with previously unpublished notes he made after spending nearly a year in Europe rethinking poetry and how to write it. As "Poems" shows his first tentative steps into poetry, the notes show him as he prepares to make a giant transformation in his art. Shortly after "Poems" appeared, Williams went through a series of experiences that changed his life - a trip to Europe, a marriage to the sister of the woman he genuinely loved, and the establishment of his medical practice. In Europe he was introduced to a consideration of an unlikely trio: Heinrich Heine, Martin Luther, and Richard Wagner, resulting in an exposure that subsequently influenced his developing style. Williams looked back on Poems as apprentice work, calling them, "bad Keats, nothing else - oh well, bad Whitman too. But I sure loved them...There is not one thing of the slightest value in the whole thin booklet - except the intent", and never republished the collection. Now that Williams' work is widely read and appreciated, his reputation secure, his development as a poet is a matter worth serious study, "Poems" can be seen as a point of departure, a clear record of where Williams began before his life and ideas about poetry made seismic shifts. Virginia M. Wright-Peterson's succinct introduction puts "Poems" in the context of his life and times, discusses the reception of the volume, his reconsideration of the poems, and what they reveal about his poetic ambitions.

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