William Carlos Williams

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

Williams, William Carlos

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
* 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.
William Carlos Williams Award from The Poetry Society of America, and
He has also edited selections from the poetry of Jorge Luis Borges and William Carlos Williams.
Desire and Restraint: Conflicting Views of Women in the Poetry of William Carlos Williams. Nicole L.
And, of course, Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time (1924), William Carlos Williams's In the American Grain (1925), and Eric Walrond's Tropic Death (1926) would soon follow Cane.
This painting was the artist's homage and tribute to a poem by his friend, William Carlos Williams.
Who work at DoubleTake magazine try not to forget how our publication got to be and why we still want to remember fondly the spoken and written words of William Carlos Williams. In his words, we find his yearning determination to respect mightily the range and authority of American voices, to render them directly, and respond to them as the city doctor he was in Paterson, New Jersey.
The six problem-based learning units cover a wide range of topics and disciplines: genetically modified foods; fugitive slaves and the Underground Railroad; William Carlos Williams; geometry and cultural mores; consumer information and computers; environmental impact of an oil storage tank; heresy and scientific thought; and writing and editing skills.
In this book Coles creatively combines personal interviews with Dorothy Day, Walker Percy, William Carlos Williams, and Anna Freud with his musings on works from the domain of theology (St.
As William Carlos Williams poetically described it, "There was/A splash quite unnoticed/This was/Icarus drowning."
The promoters of Imagism, which included Hilda Doolittle, John Gould Fletcher, Richard Aldington, and later, Amy Lowell and William Carlos Williams, were attempting to challenge what they considered the superficially decorative and overly verbose poetry of the accepted 19th century canon.