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Monday Quote

As birds' wings beat the solid air without which none could fly so words freed by the imagination affirm reality by their flight

~ William Carlos Wiliams, from Spring & All


Williams! My main man! Want a treatise? We are all his heiresses, right, Alice? No time today to write what's in my heart. The father of us all. 

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Monday Quote

Paterson lies in the valley under the Passaic Falls

its spent waters forming the ouline of his back.


Say it, no idea but in things


a man like a city and a woman like a flower

—who are in love. Two women. Three women.

Innumerable women, each like a flower.



only one man—like a city.


~ William Carlos Williams, from Paterson


I took this photo yesterday at the Great Falls National Park. How is it that I worked nearby for years & never moseyed over here. I was so moved to see the same sight as the cover of Paterson, a book I've been reading constantly for decades. 


This post begins a week of Williams or until I run out of pictures that I took yesterday. 

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Monday Quote

Poetry is a rival government always in opposition to its cruder replicas.

~ William Carlos Williams


Is this an impeachment inquiry quote? I dunno, I've just been so in love with Williams lately. I never exactly know what he means but he always inspires me. 

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Found among my papers

(I miss typewriters.) (Typos corrected.)
Williams taught the same formal message at each ((college)): that the new poetry, esp. the new American poetry, would have to be "consonant—con-sonant—with our age and range of our physical understanding. It must sound with our age and sound new and vigorously." Alchemist of the word as he was, he was looking  Read More 
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More about WCW

We've all absorbed Williams' examples so well that his "I do this, I do that" poems (except it's patients & Elsie & Kathleen & a Negro woman who do this or that) almost no longer demonstrate his startling freshness (although they do!). I remember an acquaintance, burning with indignation, saying "This Is Just to Say"—the famous "plums" poem—was "nothing but  Read More 
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A quote I like (& thoughts about it)

Not a farmer
What we know of Paradise we learn here, by looking, by vision, by imagination, and both Paradise and the ground underfoot are always beyond the perfect grasp of our arts, as of our sciences. —Wendell Berry, The Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford

As with a poem, you can't summarize this book, but I think it fair to say it concerns itself with what Berry calls  Read More 
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Williams redux

Noticed that the firehouse on 14th St has a reproduction of the Charles Demuth painting "The Figure 5 in Gold" high up on the east wall. I love that painting; I love the Williams poem "The Great Figure" that inspired the painting; I love how both obvious & private the writing is on the painting: the name BILL at the top, along with "WCW," "Carlos," and "Art Co"; and I love that Williams had so many childhood & college friends who were also artists. It's a sort of collaboration, riffing on your friends' work. Is all inspiration a form of collaboration?

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Almost too easy

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds all glazed with rain
Someone ate the plums in the fridge
I'm so lonesome I need not explain

David McGimpsey did this mashup the Williams boys, Bill & Hank, who share a birthday today. It's as good as it gets, eh?

My other favorite pair of birthday twins: Sam Cooke & Lord Byron, on January 22.

I'm kind of excited to get birthdays in here, almost 6 months before mine on February 18. I like other people's birthdays almost as much as my own. I like running into someone & finding out what day it is: it's a little gift from them to me. I like that today—and every day—is someone’s birthday.  Read More 
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