William Carlos Williams Poems

Poems » william carlos williams

William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams (sometimes known as WCW) (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963), was an American poet closely associated with modernism and Imagism. He was also a pediatrician and general practitioner of medicine, a line of work that no doubt influenced the subject matter of his poetry. Williams “worked harder at being a writer than he did at being a physician,” wrote biographer Linda Wagner-Martin. During his long lifetime, Williams excelled both as a poet and a physician. Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey, a community near the city of Paterson. His father was an English immigrant, and his mother was born in Puerto Rico. He attended public school in Rutherford until 1897, then was sent to study at Château de Lancy near Geneva, Switzerland, the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, France, for two years and Horace Mann School in New York City. Then, in 1902, he entered the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. During his time at Penn, Williams befriended Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle (best known as H.D.) and the painter Charles Demuth. These friendships supported his growing passion for poetry. He received his M.D. in 1906 and spent the next four years in internships in New York City and in travel and postgraduate studies abroad (e.g., at the University of Leipzig where he studied pediatrics). He returned to Rutherford in 1910 and began his medical practice, which lasted until 1951. Surprisingly, most of his patients knew little if anything of his writings; instead they viewed him as a doctor who helped deliver more than 3,000 of their children into the world. Today, Rutherford is home to a theater, "The Williams Center," named after the poet. Williams married Florence Herman (1891 - 1976) in 1912. They moved into a house in Rutherford which was their home for many years. Shortly afterwards, his first book of serious poems, The Tempers, was published. On a trip to Europe in 1924, Williams spent time with writers Ezra Pound and James Joyce. Flossie and Williams's sons stayed behind in Europe to experience living abroad for a year as Williams and his brother had in their youth. Although his primary occupation was as a doctor, Williams had a full literary career. His work consists of short stories, poems, plays, novels, critical essays, an autobiography, translations and correspondence. He wrote at night and spent weekends in New York City with friends - writers and artists like the avant-garde painters Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia and the poets Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore. He became involved in the Imagist movement but soon he began to develop opinions that differed from those of his poetic peers, Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. Later in his life, Williams toured the United States giving poetry readings and lectures.

cat in an empty apartment
Die—you can't do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb ... [read poem]
The rose is obsolete
but each petal ends in
an edge, the double facet
cementing the g... [read poem]
true love
True love. Is it normal
is it serious, is it practical?
What does the world get from two p... [read poem]
years of anger following
hours that float idly down --
the blizzard
drifts... [read poem]
in praise of my sister
My sister doesn't write poems,
and it's unlikely that she'll suddenly start writing poems.... [read poem]
to his mistress
Why dost thou shade thy lovely face? O why
Does that eclipsing hand of thine deny
The suns... [read poem]
love and life: a song
All my past life is mine no more,
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams ... [read poem]
under one small star
My apologies to chance for calling it necessity
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, afte... [read poem]

Page 1 of 1