from THE WILLIAMS-SIEGEL DOCUMENTARY
Williams’ Poetry Talked about
by Eli Siegel,
and William Carlos Williams
Present and Talking:
March 5, 1952
I call this "Williams' Poetry Looked At: A Critical Poem," and I hope you see why.
A short while ago I wrote something, pretty spontaneously, called "Eliot and Williams: A Distinction." As I read this, it isn't because, I think, I'm too much affected by social goings-on, but because, as Dr. Williams himself implies in his work, the honesty of the word has a great deal to do with what's going to happen to us. Aesthetic Realism goes for that honesty, and I was very much moved when Dr. Williams said things which I felt were honest about work of mine.
There are people here who haven't cared for poetry, and we don't pretend around here. But they were learning about poetry as they were learning about themselves, and some people here know more about themselves than most people in America. The thing that in 1924 impelled me to write "Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana" was the thing which, in Aesthetic Realism, I have been trying to present somewhat more "lucidly," more systematically, and many people here have been affected.
Now when Dr. Williams heard that I was interested in Aesthetic Realism, I imagine he thought, "Well, another poet deviated." I don't think so. I think I am proving what Dr. Williams says in his Autobiography, page 264: "Thinking, talking, writing constantly about the poem as a way of life."1
If the poem is a way of life, is that to be taken literarily, or does it mean just that? In Aesthetic Realism, it means just that.
Not only has Dr. Williams said this in prose, he has also said it in poetry. I refer to a poem on page 209 of his Collected Later Poems. In this poem, the word is dealt with almost as if it were religion. It is dealt with almost in keeping with the New Testament statement, "In the beginning was the word." (When I was in a gay mood, I said, "In the beginning was the word, and then some back talk.") What Dr. Williams is saying, with a most magnificent iteration, is that the word and the line are a test of honesty and the accurate life. This poem is called "Convivio." It is recent. I'm glad that it's recent.
…the enemy, those
who despise the word, flout it, stem,
leaves and root; the liars who decree laws
with no purpose other than to make a screen
of them for larceny, murder—for our
murder, we who salute the word and would
have it clean, full of sharp movement.2
There are many eminent people who do not respect the word. In this poem, Dr. Williams has in mind various persons having much power, and they've been around America from the very beginning. But then there are other persons who, without knowing it, don't respect the word and its power, and Dr. Williams, from his Autobiography, has known many of them. It is very hard to respect the word; and it is very hard to respect the word in relation to other words. You have to study; and study, it seems, is a secondary thing in the history of the human race.
T. S. Eliot, I have thought, was a person who on the whole did not respect the word. He is not dishonest in the way that a Joseph McCarthy is, but he is not honest enough. It was long before tonight that I wrote a review of Eliot for Scribner's; and I wrote of him as a very accomplished, intricate deceiver. I still think so. That's neither here nor there, whether he's a deceiver. The point is that he's not a poet. And one of the most distressing things in America is that people think that T. S. Eliot is a poet. I have found him very interesting—it was nearly thirty years ago that I lectured on The Waste Land, in Baltimore, and that shows how interesting I found him; but I came to see that he was no poet. Recently I wrote this short document I mentioned, which I read now:
Eliot and Williams: A Distinction
There are two poets who are affecting minds in America today. One is T. S. Eliot, the other is William Carlos Williams. It is good to see that the effect of the first is waning, and the effect of the second is growing. It is good, because it is just poetically.
So why is it just? It is just, for Eliot, however esteemed, has failed in his work generally to make spontaneity one with structure; and Williams has not failed. Certainly, there have been mishaps in the diverse, numerously-presented work of Williams, but the New Jersey man has shown again and again that seeing as instinct can change into seeing as architecture, organization, logic.
In the work of Eliot, however, and this includes esteemed writings like "Prufrock," The Waste Land, and the Four Quartets, personal seeing has not just so, not uninterruptedly, not truly and energetically come to have the structure, technique, or form that Eliot uses. As to Williams, though: he has seen, and he has seen in such a way, and saw what he saw in such a way, that again and again, as I have stated, his seeing came to be structure, took on form, changed to musical and visual organization. That is why it is good that Williams is affecting people more, and Eliot rather less.3
The review of Eliot that I wrote for Scribner's many years ago was set in type, but then it was thought it went too far, and it was changed. It was a review taking up Eliot's poetry and criticism—chiefly his criticism—and I said it was the road towards literary torpor, boredom, semi-death, and death.
The review that I wrote somewhat later of Dr.Williams' work was what was called a "filler." I wrote it passionately. It got in small type in the spring of 1934, and those of you who are interested can look it up. I wrote with my frequent abandon, but I meant every vowel of it.
William Carlos Williams: Collected Poems, 1921-1931. Objectivist Press. $2.—
The poems of Williams belong to the history of American Poetry and therefore, Literature. This is not meant to be a highfalutin' statement; it may be wrong but it's careful. Of late, Williams has written inferior things; but a man's work is his whole work. In this book, "The Red Wheelbarrow" is as good as the author says it is: it is mystical, physical, and musical; and gives you a good case of poetic shivers. And many other things of Williams get to heaven and caves at once. Again carefully: in the person of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford, N. J., now with us, we have a better poet than Henry Wadsworth Longfellow or James Russell Lowell. Williams is big time—any time in American Poetry.4
Since then, as I intimated in the first document I read, Dr. Williams has come to be the leading poetic influence, perhaps, in America. To show that this is not simply a way of hailing a guest, I read from the work on Dr. Williams by Vivienne Koch. Miss Koch is quoting René Taupin; he wrote a book on the influence of the French symbolists on American poets. My own feeling is that the influence of the French symbolists on Dr. Williams tends towards the scant. However, these statements are interesting:
Ranking Williams as one of the three greatest American poets, M. Taupin raises the question, "Perhaps Williams has composed the formula for American art?"
And another quotation from Taupin:
"Williams knows more about the poetic imagination than any American poet today."5
There is no doubt that M. Taupin's work, L’Influence du symbolisme français sur la poésie américaine, which appeared in 1929 and which was later translated, helped to place the work of Williams. However, even in the appreciation of Williams, there may be things missing.
I see him as representing organized and subtle joy.
Sometimes there is a tendency to deal with Dr. Williams as if he were some very abstruse architecture. That is to be found in the work of Miss Koch. I think that poetry has as its purpose a good time that you can be proud of eternally. All the structure goes for a proud good time, a good time that arises out of accuracy. In Dr. Williams' work there is a great deal about what is really a good time. The very last passage of Paterson is about that, and there are many passages about what is a good time. This passage, by the way, is one of the very best in Paterson:
A large, compact bitch gets up, black,
from where she has been lying
under the bank, yawns and stretches with
a half suppressed half whine, half cry
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
bank, after a few tries, he picked
some beach plums from a low bush and
sampled one of them, spitting the seed out,
then headed inland, followed by the dog 6
I cannot deal with Paterson extensively now, but the whole poem is about disorganized good times and disorganized feelings, and the poem is an attempt—as everything, in a sense, is an attempt—of Dr. Williams to show that chaos has its symmetry, that the uncertain has its rightness, and that the God-damnedest awful mishmash somewhere has sense to it. It's a very noble purpose. And the distinction of Dr. Williams is that when he tackles mishmash, it's really mishmash.
There is something—and I hope to show that this is so—continuous in the work of Dr. Williams from about 1909 on, through the book that is fairly current (hard to get) The Tempers of 1913, and then the Al que quiere, the Kora in Hell, the Sour Grapes, the Spring and All, and so on, until we come to the collected poems. There is something continuous.
And one aspect of this something continuous is the desire to meet the chaotic, the repellent, the ugly.
I have just now made a statement about Eliot and Williams. Eliot in The Waste Land came to a resounding success, one of the most resounding successes in non-popular poetry. Eliot is not popular in the way that we can say Ella Wheeler Wilcox was once popular, or Edgar Guest, or to take a person who does belong to poetry, Carl Sandburg. But Eliot did affect people by saying that the world was run down and it was one big job for the street cleaners. That is in The Waste Land.
It is interesting that perhaps the earliest important review in book form (that I have seen) of Williams' work makes the comparison that I made a short while ago. Ezra Pound, as those of you who know Williams' Autobiography know well, was a person who went after his education while Dr. Williams was going after his. Pound tried to conduct an orchestra and Dr. Williams tried to find out how body behaves in New Jersey. I'm reading from Pound's Instigations, published in 1920 (and, by the way, it's one of the worst printed books I've ever seen—Boni and Liveright, 1920). But Pound got into book form quite early. While Dr. Williams was being printed by the Four Seas Company of Boston, Pound was being printed by Knopf. There's a difference. I read the review of Williams by Pound. It is still right, and it is interesting that there is a comparison of Williams and Eliot.
Mina Loy isn't very much around. Marianne Moore, whom Pound reviews, is very much around. Eliot is very much around. I must say, after being careful, I do not see Miss Moore as a poet, I have not seen Miss Loy as a poet, and I haven't seen Mr. Eliot as a poet. It is interesting, what Pound says of these two ladies and the two men. I am reading now from a section of Instigations by Ezra Pound, called "In the Vortex," and the subsection is "The New Poetry":
Distinct and as different as possible from the orderly statements of Eliot, and from the slightly acid whimsicalities of these ladies, are the poems of Carlos Williams. If the sinuosities and mental quirks of Misses Moore and Loy are difficult to follow I do not know what is to be said for some of Mr. Williams' ramifications and abruptnesses. I do not pretend to follow all of his volts, jerks, sulks, balks, outblurts and jump-overs; but for all his roughness there remains with me the conviction that there is nothing meaningless in his book, Al que quiere, not a line. There is whimsicality as we found it in his earlier poems: The Tempers (published by Elkin Mathews), in the verse to "The Coroner's Children," for example. There is distinctness and color, as was shown in his "Postlude," in Des Imagistes; but there is beyond these qualities the absolute conviction of a man with his feet on the soil, on a soil personally and peculiarly his own. He is rooted. He is at times almost inarticulate, but he is never dry, never without sap in abundance.7
Well, as far as I can see, Mr. Eliot in these thirty years and more, still hasn't got "sap." And there are lots of people, some of whom apparently take Dr. Williams as a guide, who also have a lot of structure, but they don't have what the maple tree has. They don't have juice. They don't have the energy. They don't have the something which Dr. Williams talks of again and again, the thing that makes a flower shoot out of the ground, ramify, take on radiation, take on form; which makes a tree get to twigs. They don't have that. They are mighty little like a tree.
This is shown in a matter which, as I said, interests Williams very much: the nature of the word, the nature of the line. I have been interested in that very much too, and I have always thought that the line is the essential thing in poetry. It is a certain thrust that corresponds to a thrust in the world itself. I don't want to be portentous, but I think that criticism which deals fully with the line will have a great deal to do with physics, not so much with "psychology," in the collegiate sense.
The line is something Williams has always been interested in. It happens to be an organic thrust. It happens to be a combination of hardness and softness, swiftness and slowness, the visual and the musical, the spacious and the concentrated; and it is shown in what happens to the syllables, the vowels, the consonants, the kind of word used, the rubbing of one word against another, and the landscape of the line—the hills, the plains, the ditches, the chasms, the cliffs, the whole geography in the line.
I do say the nature of the line has something to do with the present quantum theory. A quantum in its simplest definition is: "a unit of energy corresponding to the atom in the atomic theory." But the important thing about it is that it isn't a flowing thing, it is something that jumps, there is mutation in it. Motion is of two kinds. Well, that is true. The kangaroo and the snake should both get into a line of poetry. A good line welcomes both.
The quantum theory has something to do with this, and I read now the more complicated definition from Funk and Wagnalls' Practical Standard Dictionary:
Quantum theory (Theoretical Physics), the theory deduced by Planck that radiation by any body is an interrupted process, each radiator emitting energy in equal amounts termed quanta, the value of which depend on a universal constant and the frequency of the vibrations of the radiators.8
The distinction of Dr. Williams' work is that his lines very often have the surprising and also right quality that energy shown in any field of matter whatsoever has. And when we see it attended by the emotions of a person, we get to something important.
However, it is well to deal with the line a little more closely. One of the books I've had for a fairly long time is one of the anthologies in which Williams appeared, Others, 1916; and he appeared in the other Others. Among the people present in the Others of 1916 happen to be Wallace Stevens, Eliot with "Portrait of a Lady," Marianne Moore, Carl Sandburg, Ezra Pound; people less known now like Helen Hoyt, the Englishman Douglas Goldring; and persons who are around in other fields—there is the art collector Arensberg, there is the musical critic Pitts Sanborn,
there is the sculptor, apparently, William Zorach; and there are others. Others, yes.
This is a rather representative showing of what free verse was doing in America in 1916. Free verse did have some of its cause in the French vers libre. But free verse is like money, good and bad; and it is important to see why free verse is good or bad. The term is not in such good odor now. There was a time when it was said that all the radicals in verse were turning to the sonnet, and they would soon be writing the chant royal. Dr. Williams, by the way, has had a campaign against the sonnet for years—I must say I pity it a little.
But I'd like to deal with the line, and I can't of course quote too much. There is a poem here by Kreymborg which was very popular, and I remember many years ago a person reading it so that he got the whole room into his sigh. It is likable. I can say in advance that the trouble with the poem is that its lines are too softy-soft, they undulate too much, they are floppy curvedly, sighingly. (I'm talking now the way Lincoln Gillespie used to talk.) Well, this is "Vista," of Alfred Kreymborg:
ah yes, ah yes indeed,
is white and beautiful, white and beautiful,
from my window.
ah yes, ah yes indeed,
is green and alluring, green and alluring,
from the shore.
ah yes, ah yes, ah yes indeed,
verily yes, ah yes indeed!
I wouldn't say for a moment that that poem couldn't interest people, but it is too much like what I'd call a sagging mattress: it doesn't have firmness. The trouble with free verse lines is that they either get too much like overripe pomegranates or sagging mattresses; or then occasionally they get too much like tightly packed crates, or at the worst like a poker with ridges. This is not the way it should be.
I also must say that Ezra Pound, though I esteem his statement about Williams, is likewise not a master of free verse. I do not see him as a poet. I see his best work as being that very popular "Doria":
Be in me as the eternal moods
of the bleak wind, and not
As transient things are—
gaiety of flowers.
And so on. It's very short—I've said one-third of it. And then the translations from the Chinese. There are things from the Cantos that are interesting; but generally he's not a poet because he doesn't know when to be harsh and he doesn't know when to be soft, and he's tried to be harsh and sour and Lord knows what all.
There was a poem of his which was very popular and which Dr. Williams mentions indirectly in his Autobiography, called "Shop Girl." And it was very much liked, because there are very few poems of five lines that have in them three poets. Well, I don't see it as great shakes. I read it many years ago—I believe it appeared in Lustra—around 1919, as early as that, but I still don't see it as great shakes. I must say, I thought more of it in 1919 than I do now. Yet there is a tendency not to make distinctions; that has always been so.
We come now to Eliot. I do not see Eliot as an artist in verse. I say this very carefully. I have found "Prufrock" and The Waste Land interesting, but the man is not a poet. It would be very good if people saw it. There is a poem after The Waste Land called "The Hollow Men." I consider it as poetry essentially dull. But talking about its lines—there is a rigidity, there is no flow, and there is no impetus. Mr. Eliot is very different from a fountain. Well, this is section four of "The Hollow Men," and I'll read it as well as I can:
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.
As an animal in one of Dr. Williams' poems, "The Sea-Elephant," would say, "Blouaugh!"
We come now to something of a distinction. Dr. Williams is not one of the enamored of rhyme. Hardly. There is some rhymed verse in his collected poems, but there is very little of it. I have felt that free verse is a very good thing, and it is the hardest thing, on the whole, to write. Good free verse is a harder thing to write than a sonnet or a ballade, or a chant royal, or a cinquain, or anything else; it is harder to write even than the Spenserian stanza. But, for example, Dr. Williams is very much interested in Villon. Villon is anything but free verse. He has those continuous rhymes in his ballades, and there's a refrain, and the whole apparatus of fifteenth-century French verse. There is also, it seems, a liking for Poe. Poe is very different from Williams, yet Poe is a poet, and I have a tendency still to like that barroom favorite, "The Raven." I don't think it's just by chance that Mallarmé translated it.
In In the American Grain, Dr. Williams says that "To One in Paradise" is Poe's best poem; he says this in the last line of his essay on Poe. There is something in Poe, and there is poetry in "To One in Paradise." I don't think there is tremendously much, but there is a good deal. And we have in Poe a man who carefully rhymed, in fact, he is the greatest master of what Emerson would call the jingle—though Emerson was unfair. The last stanza of "To One in Paradise" is rhyme; it's very different from Dr. Williams' "By the road to the contagious hospital." Yet it is poetry. I'll read that stanza:
And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy gray eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams—
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
Very likable. Very likable, but I think there are some poems by Williams that are better than "To One in Paradise."
Now getting to Williams' work. I always like to read from early editions if possible, and there are many poems to read; many, many. I'm going to read in certain instances just a few lines. And I'm going to begin with the Others, from which I read poems by Kreymborg and Ezra Pound. One of Williams' most popular poems, "Tract," is here. I talked on that poem, some of you may remember, some years ago. But as one listens to the lines again, one gets that feeling of firmness and flexibility, of casualness and directness, of the roundabout and the straight line, which help to make a line.
So these are the first lines of "Tract":
I will teach you
how to perform
for you have it
over a troop
unless one should
scour the world—
you have the ground sense
There is a certain arrangement of words. There is the slang, "you have it over"; there is the word "artists," and "ground sense" and "necessary." There is a subtle, chemical mingling of surprising proprieties in those lines, and in the line, and, one may say, in the word. There is also the sound of speech.
Dr. Williams has written in various styles, particularly in prose. And it is interesting to see that the sound of speech is in a much later work. There is a story about Dago in Make Light of It. The sounds used there sometimes, taken out of the paragraph and put into line form, would make for a poem. This Dago is a big rebel, he's Patrick Henry to the nth power. He doesn't want to do anything other people are doing. And he gets into trouble. This, from the story called "An Old Time Raid" in Make Light of It (it first appeared in The Knife of the Times), is good lingo:
You weren't allowed to smoke. They had big cards hanging down from the ceiling on strings—or wires—I dunno. No smoking. There was one right in front of us. This probably gave Dago the idea. He got out a cigar and started to light up.10
Well, there are ups and downs in that! And you could arrange it to make a poem. It would be very perky.
When a group of words seem to have a life among themselves, and in being different they seem to say they are friendly in the same way a group of hills and valleys and bushes might—we have something corresponding to the line. And as I said, it corresponds to what quanta are.
But getting back to the work. Another poem of Williams that has remained and is well known and is reaching new audiences now, is the "Pastoral." I'll read the first lines there:
The little sparrows
about the pavement
with sharp voices
over those things
that interest them.11
The reason for that's being good is the fact that there are these two aspects of the world: the effervescence of it, the manyness of it, the multitudinousness of it, is related to something quiet and inclusive; and it can be a sinister quietness. We have "The little sparrows"—that's a fact, they're little. And sometimes a simple fact makes for a good effect. I think one of the most poetic lines in America is: "The short guy in a derby."
There's a change: you have "The little sparrows" and then "hop ingenuously." That's a fancy word, I wouldn't call it one of the words in Basic English, but there's a feeling of the noise of the sparrows in it. "Hop ingenuously"—it's very swift. "About the pavement"—"quarreling" —"with sharp voices"—and you feel that insistence, that expostulation of the sparrows. The way they argue with each other! And you feel that in the way the words are used. I could go further, but this is not a time to linger on one poem. I just want to say this is honest dealing with words. And as I have said, before ethics can come, people have to take words with love and accuracy. Love must always be accuracy.
In the poem there is a comparison:
But we who are wiser
shut ourselves in
on either hand
and no one knows
whether we think good
There's an interesting comparison between something quite still and something in a delicate uproar. More could be said of this.
Anyway, those two poems, "Tract" and "Pastoral," belong to poetry. This is no time to make for competition, but it is a time for distinction. The source of those two poems is different from the source of poems by people like Eliot, and MacLeish, and Robinson Jeffers, and most of the work of Edwin Arlington Robinson, and I'm afraid a good many of the English persons. I do not see, as I have said, Spender as a poet, or Auden—I've tried. I don't see it. They don't have the organized volcano.
Proceeding, we get to a poem which is about poetry itself. Williams has written often of trees and flowers. He has written of all the things that happen in that locality he writes about, and most things happening in America happen in New Jersey. There's not the Grand Canyon, but most other things are there. I get to a poem now which here is included as having appeared first in the Collected Poems of 1934, "Young Sycamore."
This is a poem about how spontaneity changes to structure, but not symmetrical structure, not the structure that reminds one of tedious marble halls, but a structure that has the mischievous sweat of a tricky world.
I must tell you
this young tree
whose round and firm trunk
between the wet
pavement and the gutter
is trickling) rises
This is the music of biology. Very often what Williams does is, he takes something which is vegetative and compares it to something mechanical. Here it is the "round and firm trunk" and the “wet pavement and the gutter." Then it "rises bodily," and there is a lot of thrust in that word "bodily."
till nothing is left of it
hornlike at the top14
There's a rising, taking care of the accurate procedures and mischief of biology (or, I should say, botany) with music. It represents what Williams wants in his own poems: the organic changed into accuracy, not leaving out anything; getting symmetry while welcoming chaos.
As I say that one of the things Williams gets into his poetry is the feeling of heaviness and lightness, the changing of a massive thing into something like thistledown—I must say that this can be got in rhyme too. I have talked of the St. Louis Blues. In terms of technique, we have lightness and heaviness in, say, one of the triplets of that blues:
Feelin' tomorrow the way I feel today,
Feelin' tomorrow the way I feel today,
Gonna pack my trunks and make my getaway.
I happen to like "Young Sycamore" very much, but—do me something—I like that too.
A poem that has taken me (and I confess I first saw it in the French—it was translated by Eugene Jolas) is called "Portrait of the Author." I've come to see that Williams is a good representative of the possibilities of humanity. I believe that there is a certain simplicity, a desire to be straight in perception, honest in the best sense of the word, which I have seen as pretty charming. I look on most literary people as going too much for the gumshoe; as being devious in ambitious murk.
In this poem, we have a desire to be fair to every human being, a desire to see everything justly from within, a desire not to sum up, a desire not to go by the proclamations of the moment; a desire, in other words, to see, even where that seeing may be uncomfortable. That is a noble thing, and it is very hard to stick to.
In "Portrait of the Author," we have a presentation of an intense person who, while welcoming sometimes the almost unbearable things of the world, is trying to be just. It is a very good poem. It appeared first in Sour Grapes (so this book says).
The birches are mad with green points
the wood's edge is burning with their green,
burning, seething—No, no, no.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Take me in your arms, tell me the commonest
thing that is in your mind to say,
say anything. I will understand you—!
It is the madness of the birch leaves opening
cold, one by one.15
In Williams' poems there is another presentation of the relation of fury to quiet. In "Postlude," a very popular poem, anthologized tremendously, the relation of intensity—great intensity—to quiet is presented. In many poems, the two are presented. It is a big thing in Williams' work, and it is a big thing, apparently, in his thoughts.
1. The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams (New York:
Random House, 1951).
2. "Convivio," lines 11-16. The whole poem was read. Complete text is in The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams (Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions, 1950), p. 209. Page numbers in 1963 edition are the same.
3. Expanded into a full-length article and published in the University of Kansas City Review, XXII, 1 (Autumn 1955), 41-43. Reprinted in present text, pp. 141-146.
4. Scribner's, XCV, 4 (April 1934), 24. Unsigned.
5. Quoted by Vivienne Koch, William Carlos Williams (Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions, 1950), p. 32.
6. Paterson (Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions, 1948), pp. 237-238. Page numbers in 1963 edition are the same. The entire passage was read.
7. Ezra Pound, Instigations (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), p. 241.
8. The Practical Standard Dictionary of the English Language (New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1938).
9. Others, ed. Alfred Kreymborg (New York: Knopf, 1916), p. 136. Also in The Collected Earlier Poems of William Carlos Williams (Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions, 1951), p. 129. Here Williams changed the line structure, making six lines of these eleven.
10. Make Light of It (New York: Random House, 1950), p. 30.
11. Others, p. 133. CEP, p. 124.
12. "Pastoral," lines 8-13.
13. "Young Sycamore," lines 1-8. The whole poem was read. Complete text is in CEP, p. 332.
14. Lines 18-24.
15. "Portrait of the Author," lines 1-3, 28-32. The whole poem was read. Complete text is in CEP, pp. 228-229. See Williams' comment following lecture, p. 105, and Siegel's letter, p. 29.
Our thanks for permission to use extensive quotations from the following:
"Vistas," from The Selected Poems of Alfred Kreymborg 1912-1944, © 1945, by Alfred Kreymborg. Reprinted by permission of E. P. Dutton & Co.
Lines from "The Hollow Men" in Collected Poems 1909-1962 by T. S. Eliot, © 1936, by Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.: © 1963, 1964 by T. S. Eliot. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Passages from Kora in Hell, © 1957 by William Carlos Williams. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.
Copyright © 1957, 1964, 1970 by Definition Press