WCW: Imagist Poetry

William Carlos Williams, 1883-1963

William Carlos Williams was an American poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and one of the fathers of the Imagist poetry, along with his good friend Ezra Pound. Imagist poetry is characterized by plain language andthe use of few words that focus on concrete images instead of abstract ideas.

Williams is best loved for his simple poems, the characteristically vulgate diction in his work, and often interesting formatting. His most famous poem is probably The Red Wheelbarrow though my two favorites are As the Cat and This Is Just to Say . As you read those poems, pay close attention to the simplicity of the language (This is Just to say was actually written as a note to his wife and stuck on the refrigerator) and how the form is used to enhance the meaning of the poems.

Some of friends and contemporaries include the aforementioned Ezra Pound, Robert Frost and William Butler Yeats.

The following poems are untitled and were written quickly while looking at pictures and thinking about how William Carlos Williams would describe them and the stories behind them. I hope you enjoy them and if you have any ideas for titles, please let me know (The last one may not be a true imagist piece because it has some abstraction). Collectively they are called WCW.

As with all poems, but especially with imagist poetry, read the poems slowly and pause at each line break.



(With apologies to William Carlos Williams)

2.


He watches

The apples fall

From Branches

Overburdened.

On the ground

They wither and rot

In the late

summer sun,

Killing the grass.

He can’t bring

Himself

To save them.

*****

1.



the swing

is rusty now

he pauses

smiles

remembers

when it wasn’t

*****


3.


As I approach

The tree

To pick

The plums

A tiny dagger

Enters

My foot.


A slow

Swelling

A dull

Throbbing

A smile

Creeping

Across my lips

As I ponder

The heroic

Honey bee

Twitching and dying

Before me

Who sacrifices

Himself

To save

His hive.



all rights reserved. copyright Justin W. price Feb 12, 2012

Thanks for Reading.

PDXKaraokeGuy, also known as Justin W. Price, is an author with Sweatshoppe Publications, which will soon re-release his poetry collection, Digging to China. Additionally, the managing editor at eFiction horror and The New Bridge online newspaper.. Husband to Andrea, father to two dogs. writer.poet.baseball fan. tattooed. He is am amateur theologian with a rabid sweet tooth. He resides in a suburb of Portland, Oregon.He has a poetry book available for Amazon Kindle, and also maintains a blog, FirstBlog. His work has been featured in the Crisis Chronicles, efiction Magazine, The Hellroaring Review, the Bellwether Review, eFiction Humor, and the Rusty Nail. Please visit his profile page for more information. Thanks!

Which of These Three Did you Like Best?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • they all belong together, so, I liked them all equally.
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Comments 60 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

My minds eye, I like your suggestions very much. Thanks for making them!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much, Tenkay


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Tammy, Daddy is one of my favorite Plath pieces. Poetryfioundation has a reading she did of the poem just weeks before her suicide. It's pretty haunting. You should check it out.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Debby, Thanks so much for your input!


My Minds Eye53 profile image

My Minds Eye53 4 years ago from Tennessee

I liked them all because I can relate to them all.

1. Childhood Days

2. The Falling

3. Death of a Warrior

Those are my suggestions. I love poetry. I write mostly in poetry form.

Voted up and awesome


TENKAY profile image

TENKAY 4 years ago from Philippines

I like the third poem the best. Its very evocative, I could almost feel the pain of a bee sting. Thank you for sharing the untitled poems.

Voted up and beautiful.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Plath's "Daddy" is awesome. I can't wait until your paper is ready. When I was a college senior in English, I did my final paper on "Plath and the Deconstruction of Feminism." I used that poem and her best ever "Lady Lazarus." I love her use of mythology. I am so glad you wrote this piece on Williams.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Good day Justin.

I picked number three,

the story of the bee,

just because you couldn't see

the nest beneath the tree

all the best

Debby


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Lutfor... thanks so much for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoy Williams!


Lutfor 4 years ago

"This is Just to Say" is the best poem I've ever read.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Vellur, thanks for your suggestions. I like "the Brave One"


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Excellent hub. Voted up. This hub reminds me of Amy Lowell who was also an imagist poet. Titles that popped into my mind -

1.Bygone days

2.Helpless

3.The Brave One


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you so much, Jamie. I appreciate that!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

I appreciate the suggestions, Till. i will take them under advisement!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Xeno. That's one of my goals!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Ryan, me too. It seem slike life was always simpler bsack in the day :-)


jhamann profile image

jhamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

An incredible hub with well written poems, and a shout out WCW. Jamie


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

I know I'll always learn and enjoy when I read your work. Simple suggestions: #1 Remember, #2 Apple's Life #3 The Bee

Lame, but suggestions. I really loved them and hope you write more. Voted up and SHARED.


Xenonlit profile image

Xenonlit 4 years ago

Wonderful! You are an encouragement for all of us to read more poetry.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 4 years ago from Louisiana, USA

i really enjoyed the one about the swing. i remember those days at the park or the old swings i use to have in the backyard. the days when life was simple


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks a lot, lyric writer. I'm glad you enjoyed this and I'm glad I could introduce you to WCW


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

Very interesting. It is always good to learn about someone knew. I had never heard of him before, but I am not big on poetic history per say. Cool poems though pal.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Blossom. I appreciate the visit.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks b. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I hope you had a fantastic Valentine's Day!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Mona, I will consider your advice about the capitals. I kind of like them, but I am also pretty lazy about changing things like that :-)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

chs, Williams has grown on me. I love the simplicity of his work.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

I like the middle one because I've been there and done that, too. A very interesting hub.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

What a Wonderful Treat Today from you my Friend...Loved your Poems...They were all Excellent, but I really Loved # 1. And not Because it's Valentine's Day... but I Voted this Hub UP!


Mona Germain profile image

Mona Germain 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Oh I loved the Red Wheelbarrow!

I like the way you wrote about the poet and gave links for convenient reference. Awesome idea to add your own imagist poems--the first one I think is the best on for the form. I could feel the connection. The lack of captials works well too.

But I enjoyed the vibe and imagery of the last with its "dagger" metaphor. Evocative.

I wonder about the capitals on every line in the other two poems. It seems distracting to me, especially as you have such short lines. Rereading I can see how they do slow the read though!

I really liked the feeling of the end of the second poem. I could really relate to his thought here.

So well done and very enjoyable to reflect upon.

Thanks for sharing.


chspublish profile image

chspublish 4 years ago from Ireland

From my understanding of things, great poems on your part. I would prefer yours to those of Williams - his are a bit too brief for my liking.

You asked for suggestions for titles for yours. May I suggest (1) - Rusty is the Swing; (2)When the Apples Fall; (3) Bee Sacrifice. These will probably not reflect the true essence of your imagery. Just suggestions. Thanks for the asking.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Duffsmom, thank you. I will tell you, the first time I read the red wheelbarrow, I didn't get it and it didn't resonate, but As the Cat and This is Just to say immediately did. I've learned to like The Red Wheelbarrow, but ti's still a distant third :-)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Capedium!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Ardie. I've been very nostalgic lately. Getting older is bitter sweet. Blogged about ti this morning...

http://pdxjpricefirstblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/twi...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you Audrey!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Tammy, me too. I actually am doing a report on Plath's "Daddy" this term, so, i'll post that up when it's done, though my fave path poem might be "I am vertical". Pound had some pretty brief masterpieces, like In the Station at the Metro. Thanks for reading!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Eddy. You too!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Vinaya!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thansk Jen for the compliments. I'm glad you read these slowly. That's how all poetry should be read!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Raci. You should check him out


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

pickles, I actually hate bees, but I still think they're interesting :-)


duffsmom profile image

duffsmom 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

One of my favorite poets, also a pediatrician, absolutely love his work. Simple and so effective. The Red Wheelbarrow is my favorite of his works. At first reading I thought, "What?" then again and again I read the few simple lines and saw something more every time. Great Hub.


Capedium profile image

Capedium 4 years ago from Texas.

I like three better.. It is interesting...


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Number one reminds me of being an adult and seeing my childhood swingset. It is rusted now but when I remember the days when it was new I smile and remember old friends and picnics with my stuffed animals! Love it as always PDX


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Sharing!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Well done! I love this era in American poetry more than any other with the exception of Sylvia Plath. Williams was an expert in saying so much by saying so little. It took Pound and Elliot pages and pages to say as much as Williams did. This is fabulous! You chose some great ones here.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub and thanks for sharing.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

Beautiful sets of poems. Thanks for info.


jenubouka 4 years ago

This style does carry an ever lasting punch to the gut. It is raw yet meaningful, graceful and truthful. I liked all three of your poems, and when reading them slowly, absorbing each line, I was tantalized with a powerful vision. Another great poet to read, well besides you.


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

nice work on this one Justin...i only learn about him now...i like the imagery he tries to capture in his poetry...


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

Enjoyed reading all of them, but have a love for bees, so it was my favorite. You really have such a talent and we are the benefactors. Vote up!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Gypsy. I like those titles. In the tradition of William Carlos Williams, Maybe I should just name them after the first line in the poem. Who knows. Thanks so much for reading. It's always a blast to see you!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Phoebe. I appreciate the votes!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. I especially want to thank you for introducing me to poets I haven't known before. Titles are sometimes more difficult to write then the poems themselves because they come from the soul. I thought this: 1) Childhood Lost 2) Think Apple Wine 3)The Heroic Honey Bee. The apple wine came to me because we have four apple trees and there are so many apples that my husband steams out the juice and makes apple wine but there are still a lot of apples that go bad.


Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

Very interesting hub... unique and different. Two thumbs way up. ^_^


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you very much for those kind words, Ian!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Audrey, it looks like they've changed their share module. I haven't had any problems sharing, both others have...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Deborah, if you voted honestly, then you voted right! Thanks for the kind words and for reading and commenting!


Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

Ian Dabasori Hetr 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

uh! another masterpiece by the master author. Love em for sure. Keep em coming. Voted up.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Ah beautiful job on these Justin--I particularly like the 1st one--I'll share if HP lets me--I don't know why, but I haven't been able to do that the past couple of days--

Enjoy your day!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I hope I voted right.. Karaoke you always have the best hubs on poets.. I really enjoy reading them.. thank you so much for doing this for us.

voted way up

Debbie

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