Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday William Carlos Williams !

William Carlos Williams
Today is the birthday of an American poet William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963), closely associated with modernism and Imagism. He was also a pediatrician and general practitioner of medicine with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Williams "worked harder at being a writer than he did at being a physician" but excelled at both. Presenting some poems : Being Poet

Arrival

And yet one arrives somehow, 
finds himself loosening the hooks of 
her dress 
in a strange bedroom-- 
feels the autumn 
dropping its silk and linen leaves 
about her ankles. 
The tawdry veined body emerges 
twisted upon itself 
like a winter wind . . . ! 

Backward

A three-day-long rain from the east--
an terminable talking, talking
of no consequence--patter, patter, patter.
Hand in hand little winds
blow the thin streams aslant.
Warm. Distance cut off. Seclusion.
A few passers-by, drawn in upon themselves,
hurry from one place to another.
Winds of the white poppy! there is no escape!--
An interminable talking, talking,
talking . . .it has happened before.
Backward, backward, backward. 

A Sort of a Song

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
sleepless.
-- through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks. 

Approach of Winter

The half-stripped trees 
struck by a wind together, 
bending all, 
the leaves flutter drily 
and refuse to let go 
or driven like hail 
stream bitterly out to one side 
and fall 
where the salvias, hard carmine-- 
like no leaf that ever was-- 
edge the bare garden. 

Blizzard

Snow falls:
years of anger following
hours that float idly down --
the blizzard
drifts its weight
deeper and deeper for three days
or sixty years, eh? Then
the sun! a clutter of
yellow and blue flakes --
Hairy looking trees stand out
in long alleys
over a wild solitude.
The man turns and there --
his solitary track stretched out
upon the world. 

Between Walls

the back wings
of the
hospital where
nothing
will grow lie
cinders
In which shine
the broken
pieces of a green
bottle 

Après le Bain

I gotta
buy me a new
girdle.
(I'll buy
you one) O.K.
(I wish
you'd wig-
gle that way
for me,
I'd be
a happy man)
I GOTTA
wig-
gle for this.
(You pig) 
"Libertad! Igualdad! Fraternidad!"
You sullen pig of a man
you force me into the mud
with your stinking ash-cart!
Brother!
--if we were rich
we'd stick our chests out
and hold our heads high!
It is dreams that have destroyed us.
There is no more pride
in horses or in rein holding.
We sit hunched together brooding
our fate.
Well--
all things turn bitter in the end
whether you choose the right or
the left way
and--
dreams are not a bad thing. 

Apology

Why do I write today?
The beauty of
the terrible faces
of our nonentites
stirs me to it:
colored women
day workers—
old and experienced—
returning home at dusk
in cast off clothing
faces like
old Florentine oak.
Also
the set pieces
of your faces stir me—
leading citizens—
but not
in the same way. 

Berket and the Stars

A day on the boulevards chosen out of ten years of 
student poverty! One best day out of ten good ones. 
Berket in high spirits--"Ha, oranges! Let's have one!" 
And he made to snatch an orange from the vender's cart. 
Now so clever was the deception, so nicely timed 
to the full sweep of certain wave summits, 
that the rumor of the thing has come down through 
three generations--which is relatively forever!