Synopses & Reviews
Williams's poetry is characterized by formal freedom inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman coupled with an imagistic conciseness; like Pound, Williams believed that concrete details need no explanation, that ideas must be embodied in images. His poems are full of everyday objects; they celebrate the ordinary and the seemingly trivial though they do so in unfamiliar ways and often from a surprising perspective. This volume contains poems spanning three decades in Williams's career.
"The greatness of a poet is not to be measured by the scale but by the intensity and perfection of his works. Also by his vivacity. Williams is the author of the most vivid poems of American poetry." Octavio Paz
"Williams's best reader on either side of the Atlantic has been a Briton, Charles Tomlinson." Hugh Kenner
With the publication of this book, Charles Tomlinson's edition of Williams's , New Directions has introduced a gathering larger and more comprehensive than the original 1963 edition.
Opening with Professor Tomlinson's superbly clear and helpful introduction this selection reflects the most up-to-date Williams scholarship. In addition to including many more pieces, Tomlinson has organized the whole in chronological order. "It isn't what he [the poet] says that counts as a work of art," Williams maintained, "it's what he makes, with such intensity of purpose that it lives with an intrinsic movement of its own to verify its authenticity."
About the Author
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) was born in Rutherford, New Jersey. He received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he met and befriended Ezra Pound and H.D. (Hilda Doolittle). At the same time as maintaining a popular medical practice, he became a prolific poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright. Experimenting with new techniques of meter and lineation, Williams sought to invent an entirely fresh--and singularly American--poetics, whose subject matter was centered on the everyday circumstances of life and the lives of common people. He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2009.Charles Tomlinson read English at Queens College, Cambridge, has lived in Northern Italy and London, and has recently retired after thirty-six years of teaching at the University of Bristol. In 1993 he received the Bennett Award for achievement in literature from The Hudson Review of New York, and in 1991 the Premio Europeo di Cittadella. He is the editor of the classic anthology The Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation. He lives in Gloucester, England.