William Carlos Williams

Most people grow out of any early liking for poetry, but I never have.

I came across my copy of William Carlos Williams’ Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems the other day.  This was his final collection, as fresh today as it ever was.

Like Pasternak, he evidently thought that poetry was no more a profession than good health, and practised as a doctor specialising in paediatrics.  He married, had a family and did all the stuff that successful professional men do. But he also wrote great stuff. I have always liked this little masterpiece of 20th century American literature, which I assume is about his mad but loveable friend Ezra Pound:  

on getting a card

long delayed

from a poet whom I love


with whom I differ


the modern poetic


I was much moved

to hear

from him if

as yet he does not

concede the point

nor is he

indeed conscious of it

no matter

his style

has other outstanding


which delight me


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