William Carlos Williams–On Poetry

Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
            I come, my sweet,
                        to sing to you!
My heart rouses
            thinking to bring you news
                        of something
that concerns you
            and concerns many men. Look at
                        what passes for the new.
You will not find it there but in
            despised poems.
                        It is difficult
to get the news from poems
            yet men die miserably every day
                        for lack
of what is found there.

–from Apshodel, That Greeny Flower by William Carlos Williams

Photo: Asphodelus by macropoulos


~ by matt on 16 February 2009.

2 Responses to “William Carlos Williams–On Poetry”

  1. I was reading this poem today in my first edition copy of The Desert Music. What is it about Williams that his poetry so special? I got hooked while I was still a teenager.

  2. I know! Attended elementary school in Paterson, NJ and, one day, we had a special guest in 7th grade English: Louis Ginsberg, a fairly well-known journalist in that area (and Allen Ginsberg’s dad). Among other things, he talked about WCW’s epic Paterson and suggested that we visit nearby Passaic Falls and then read the poem. I did. I was sold on Williams in the 7th grade and, as you say, he never fails…thanks for your comment.

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Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

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