William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 - March 4, 1963), often abbreviated with the initials "WCW", was an American poet during the Modernist movement. He attended public school in Rutherford, New Jersey until 1897, then was sent to study at Château de Lancy near Geneva, Switzerland and the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, France for two years.
Although he did not subscribe to the Imagist manifesto (essentially the manifesto written by Ezra Pound, H.D., and others that drove the Modernist movement in poetry), his work is often considered to be the epitome of it (see especially The Red Wheelbarrow and This Is Just To Say).
Throughout his lifetime Williams worked as a physician in the town of Rutherford, New Jersey. He received his M.D. from The University of Pennsylvania Medical School; where he also met and befriended fellow poet Ezra Pound.
Williams has often been praised for his observation of "the local" in his poetry and for his pared-down, precise, and sharp style. Williams simplified the mystery of what makes good poetry when he said: "If it's not a pleasure, it's not a poem." Also, he is known for remarking that a poem is like a small "machine of words".
His greatest masterpiece is considered to be the work Paterson, a poetic monument to (and personification of) the New Jersey Town. One of the influential modern American poets, Williams received the Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1963.
- Poems (1909)
- Spring and All (1923)
- An Early Martyr (1935)
- Broken Span (1941)
- The Wedge (1944)
- Clouds, Aigeltinger, Russia, &c. (1948)
- The Desert Music and Other Poems (1954)
- Pictures from Brueghel (1962)
- Paterson (1963)
- Imaginations (1970)
- Collected Poems, Volume I: 1909-1939 (1986)
- The Collected Poems, Volume II, 1939-1962 (1988)
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