William Carlos Williams: Poems Background

William Carlos Williams: Poems Background

A poet central to the American modernist movement, William Carlos Wliiams was a Puerto Rican-American poet whose imagistic works operate in a variety of registers: plainspoken, lyrical, and darkly sardonic. In the words of Randall Jarrell, Williams "reproduces the details of what he sees with surprising freshness, clarity, and economy; and he sees just as extraordinarily, sometimes, the forms of this earth, the spirit moving behind the letters. His quick transparent lines have the nervous and contracted strength, move as jerkily and intently as a bird."

Williams offered a myriad of works to the American canon. These works include Spring and All (1923), The Desert Music and Other Poems (1954), Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems (1962), and Paterson (1963).

Perhaps the most inarguably revered of his poems is “The Red Wheelbarrow”. This poem is a prominent example of the imagist ideals. What is interesting, however, is that by the time this work was published, the movement had been rejected by him. However, his poetry still remains one of the seminal bodies of work to have emanated from America.

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