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)
The apples fall
On the ground
They wither and rot
In the late
Killing the grass.
He can’t bring
To save them.
is rusty now
when it wasn’t
As I approach
A tiny dagger
Across my lips
As I ponder
Twitching and dying
all rights reserved. copyright Justin W. price Feb 12, 2012