William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963) was an American poet and physician of Latin American descent closely associated with modernism and imagism. His ''Spring and All'' (1923) was written in the wake of T. S. Eliot's ''The Waste Land'' (1922). In his five-volume poem ''Paterson'' (1946–1958), he took Paterson, New Jersey as "my 'case' to work up. It called for a poetry such as I did not know, it was my duty to discover or make such a context on the 'thought.'" Some of his best known poems, "This Is Just To Say" and "The Red Wheelbarrow", are reflections on the everyday. Other poems reflect the influence of the visual arts. He, in turn, influenced the visual arts; his poem "The Great Figure" inspired the painting ''I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold'' by Charles Demuth. Williams won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for ''Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems'' (1962).

Williams practiced both pediatrics and general medicine. He was affiliated with Passaic General Hospital, where he served as the hospital's chief of pediatrics from 1924 until his death. The hospital, which is now known as St. Mary's General Hospital, paid tribute to Williams with a memorial plaque that states "We walk the wards that Williams walked".

Randall Jarrell wrote that Williams "feels, not just says, that the differences between men are less important than their similarities—that he and you and I, together, are the Little Men." Marc Hofstadter wrote that Williams "sought to express his democracy through his way of speaking. His point was to speak on an equal level with the reader and to use the language and thought materials of America in expressing his point of view." Per Hugh Fox, Williams saw "the real function of the imagination as breaking through the alienation of the near at and hand and revealing its wonder." Provided by Wikipedia

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by Williams, William Carlos
University of Virginia Library

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by Williams, William Carlos
University of Virginia Library