William Carlos Williams

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Williams, William Carlos,

1883–1963, American poet and physician, b. Rutherford, N.J., educated in Geneva, Switzerland, Univ. of Pennsylvania (M.D., 1906), and Univ. of Leipzig, where he studied pediatrics. He is regarded as one of the most important and original American poets of the 20th cent. Williams began his medical practice in 1910 in Rutherford and was a physician for more than 40 years. His early poetry shows the influences of the various poetic trends of the time—from metaphorical imagism in Poems (1909) and The Tempers (1913) to free-verse expressionism in Al Que Quiere! (1917), Kora in Hell (1920), and Sour Grapes (1921). Williams observed American life closely, expressed anger at injustice, and recorded his impressions in a lucid, vital style. He developed a verse that is close to the idiom of speech, revealing a fidelity to ordinary things seen and heard. Later volumes of his poetry include Collected Poems (1934), Collected Later Poems (1950), Collected Earlier Poems (1951), Journey to Love (1955), Pictures from Brueghel, and Other Poems (1963; Pulitzer Prize), and a five-volume, impressionistic, philosophical poem, Paterson (1946–58), in which he uses the experience of life in an American city to voice his feelings on the duty of the poet. His essays include those in In the American Grain (1925), Selected Essays (1954), and Embodiment of Knowledge (1974). Among his other works are a collection of short stories, Make Light of It (1950); plays, including A Dream of Love (1948) and Many Loves (1950); and the novels A Voyage to Pagany (1928), a three-volume chronicle of an immigrant family in America, White Mule (1937), In the Money (1940), and The Build-Up (1952). His autobiography appeared in 1951 and his Selected Letters was published in 1957.


See biographies by R. Coles (1975) and P. Mariani (1981); studies by J. E. Breslin (1970), S. Tapscott (1984), S. Cushman (1985), A. Fisher-Wirth (1989), W. Berry (2011), and H. A. Leibowitz (2011).

Williams, William Carlos

(1883–1963) poet, writer, physician; born in Rutherford, N.J. He studied in Switzerland and Paris (1897–99), the University of Pennsylvania's medical school (M.D. 1906), and did postgraduate work in pediatrics in Leipzig (1909–10). Returning to Rutherford, N.J., he would combine the writing of poetry with the practice of medicine (1910–51). He was associated with the Imagists early in his career, but preferred to call his approach "objectivism." He went on to create a revolutionary modernist approach to prose and poetry; his masterpiece is generally regarded to be the five-volume semiautobiographical epic poem, Paterson (1946–58). He was also a novelist, playwright, critic, and translator, and was appointed Consultant in Poetry, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (1952), although he declined to serve.
References in periodicals archive ?
Countries of the Mind: The Poetry of William Carlos Williams.
The American Avant-Garde Tradition: William Carlos Williams, Postmodern Poetry, and the Politics of Cultural Memory.
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by William Carlos Williams inspired by Pieter Brueghel's The Fall of Icarus
Zinsser picked up at Columbia what William Carlos Williams had acquired at Penn: the spirit of pragmatic humanism that flourished in the "aristocratic" American universities of John Dewey's era.
Por ejemplo, cabria preguntar que seria la poesia norteamericana sin un William Carlos Williams o un Walt Whitman.
The three poems by William Carlos Williams (The Rewaking, Lear, Shadows) speak of struggle, surrender and renewal, reasserting, almost Music Makers-like, the power of imagination to renew the soul.
James Laughlin was the first of these, and if he did not exactly discover Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams and other modernist poets, he certainly helped to keep their work in print and to make it widely available through his New Directions imprint.
The quartet will play works of Samuel Barber and Benjamin Britten while Pinsky reads poems by John Donne, William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson and Yeats, among others.
Desire and Restraint: Conflicting Views of Women in the Poetry of William Carlos Williams.
This painting was the artist's homage and tribute to a poem by his friend, William Carlos Williams.
In 1959 the New Jersey poet William Carlos Williams wrote to the Caithness novelist Neil Gunn.
As William Carlos Williams poetically described it, "There was/A splash quite unnoticed/This was/Icarus drowning.