A collection of William Carlos Williams poems from 1950-1962.

The editor, John Thirwall, discusses briefly Dr. Williams use of the triadic stanza and the "measured line" as an effort to keep monotony out of his poetry. He notes that "measure" "rescued Williams' verse by rhythmical variations, as the blank verse of Shakesepeare and Milton was rescued by the rhythmical variations of iambic pentameter.

"The iamb is not the normal measure of American speech," he told me in 1953. "The foot has to be expanded or contracted in terms of actual speech. The key to modern poetry is measure, which must reflect the flux of modern life. You should find a variable measure for the fixed measure; for man and the poet must keep pace with this world."

There is more from the editor, but I especially like this line quoted from a critic, Kenneth Rexroth..."the first American classic": "...his poetic line is organically welded to American speech like muscle to bone, as the choruses of Euripides were welded to the speech of the Athenians in the market place."

I have no idea what he means by Euripides and the Athenians (I'll try and look it up and put it here soon) but the muscle to bone thing just grips me.

Index of poems by title

Address:
A Formal Design
A Negro Woman
An Exercise
A Salad for the Soul
A Smiling Dane
Asphodel, That Greeny Flower
Bird
Calypsos
Children's Games
Chloe
Classic Picture
Come on!
Deep Religious Faith
Elaine
Emily
Erica
Exercise
Exercise in Timing
Exercise No. 2
15 Years Later
For Eleanor and Bill Monahan
Fragment
Haymaking
Heel & Toe to the End
He Has Beaten about the Bush Long Enough
Histology
Iris
Jersey Lyric
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
Metric Figure
Mounted as an Amazon
Paul
Peasant Wedding
Perpetuum Mobile
Poem (The rose fades)
Poem (on getting a card)
Poem (The plastic surgeon who has)
Portrait of a Woman at Her Bath
Sappho, Be Comforted
self-portrait
Shadows
Short Poem
Some Simple Measures in the American Idiom and the Variable Foot
Song (beauty is a shell)
Song (I'd rather read an account)
Song (you are forever April)
Sonnet in Search of an Author
Suzy
Tapiola
The Adoration of the Kings
The Artist
The Blue Jay
The Children
The Chrysanthemum
The Cocktail Party
The Corn Harvest
The Dance
The Descent
The Desert Music
The Drunk and the Sailor
The Existentialist's Wife
The Fruit
The Gift
The Gossips
The High Bridge above the Tagus River at Toledo
The Host
The Hunters in the Snow
The Intelligent Sheepman and the New Cars
The Italian Garden
The Ivy Crown
The King!
The Lady Speaks
The Loving Dexterity
The Mental Hospital Garden
Theocritus: Idyl I
The Orchestra
The Painting
The Parable of the Blind
The Pink Locust
The Polar Bear
The Rewaking
The Snow Begins
The Sparrow
The Stolen Peonies
The Stone Crock
The Title
The Turtle
The Wedding Dance in the Open Air
The Woodthrush
The World Contracted to a Recognizable Image
The Yellow Flower
Three Nahuatl Poems
3 Stances
To a Dog Injured in the Street
To a Man Dying on His Feet
To a Woodpecker
To Be Recited to Flossie on her Birthday
To Daphne and Virginia
To Flossie
To My Friend Ezra Pound
To the Ghost of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Tribute to the Painters
View by Color Photography on a Commercial Calendar

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