Visiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams

Overview

Loved for his decidedly American voice, for his painterly rendering of modern urban settings, and for his ability to re-imagine a living language shaped by the philosophy of “no ideas but in things,” William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) left an indelible mark on modern poetry. As each successive generation of poets discovers the “new” that lives within his work, his durability and expansiveness make him an influential poet for the twenty-first century as well. The one hundred and two poems by one hundred and two ...

See more details below
Paperback (1)
$24.95
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $4.95   
  • New (5) from $8.85   
  • Used (2) from $4.95   
Sending request ...

Overview

Loved for his decidedly American voice, for his painterly rendering of modern urban settings, and for his ability to re-imagine a living language shaped by the philosophy of “no ideas but in things,” William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) left an indelible mark on modern poetry. As each successive generation of poets discovers the “new” that lives within his work, his durability and expansiveness make him an influential poet for the twenty-first century as well. The one hundred and two poems by one hundred and two poets collected in Visiting Dr. Williams demonstrate the range of his influence in ways that permanently echo and amplify the transcendent music of his language.
 
Contributors include: Robert Creeley, David Wojahn, Maxine Kumin, James Laughlin, A. R. Ammons, Wendell Berry, Heid Erdrich, Frank O’Hara, Lyn Lifshin, Denise Levertov, Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, and a host of others.

 

 

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Visiting Dr. Williams is a rich, entertaining gathering of dedications, imitations, corrections revisions, homages, and send-ups—all provoked by the poet with the famous white chickens who brought American poetry back home to roost. You cannot visit William Carlos Williams too often; remember he made house calls and would have gladly visited us.”—Billy Collins
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587299865
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

 Sheila Coghillis professor of English and chair of the department at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Poet Thom Tammarois professor of English and directs the MFA program at Minnesota State University Moorhead.Together they are the editors of Visiting Emily (Iowa, 2000, winner of the 2001 Minnesota Book Award), Visiting Walt (Iowa, 2003), and Visiting Frost (Iowa, 2005).

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

VISITING Dr. Williams

poems inspired by the life and work of William Carlos Williams

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS

Copyright © 2011 University of Iowa Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-58729-986-5


Chapter One

    A. R. AMMONS

    WCW

    I turned in
    by the bayshore
    and parked,
    the crosswind
    hitting me hard
    side the head,
    the bay scrappy
    and working:
    what a
    way to read
    Williams! till
    a woman came
    and turned
    her red dog loose
    to sniff
    (and piss
    on)
    the dead horseshoe
    crabs.


    RANE ARROYO

    The Carlos Poems

    They become kindred spirits
    in a land overflowing with ghosts. Kindred spirits in a dying
    sun's world.
—Adrian C. Louis


    The first visit
    Hello, William Carlos Williams, you've come
    calling, at last! Last night, that dream about

    you woke me up! We were somewhere—you said,
    "fuck it, break speed limits, blur the landscape."

    I remember looking into your mouth. Your
    ghostly teeth were glowing like the back of

    eucalyptus leaves in a thunderstorm.
    But William, how was I supposed to know

    that your middle name Carlos meant Carlos,
    like the name of some cousins? You, the most

    American of poets according
    to critics! You, amigo, who upon

    seeing the Caribbean for the first
    time "wanted to cradle it like a blue

    seashell, like any other dumb tourist...."
    You were half-Puertorriqueño? Let's take

    a walk. Let's walk past the open windows
    of undergraduates with shut eyelids.

    These poor students have tired themselves out
    listening to Belly, Morrissey, Butthole

    Surfers, Throwing Muses, Dead Kennedys.

    There's a Chicano rapper now, Kid Frost:

    no more silence for la raza (Carlos,
    that's the people),
for any one of us.

    You are one of us if only by blood.
    Look, William, you still have a shadow, your

    many words on many pages. I love
    what you asked me in the dream this morning:

    "If you must own an aquarium why not
    fill it up with expensive champagne?"

    Ah, amigo! Already the daylight
    chases you away: not yet, por favor!

    Unhatted as we are, we dare not
    walk any further towards what is

    on the next block, and the next, and the next.
    You smile at me. I make you remember

    something: hunger, youth, time, the need to need.
    Adios, goodbye, yes this is right, William

    Carlos Williams, a-dios, go back to your God.


    The second visit
    You follow me to a matinee, sit
    in the row behind me; funny, Dead Again.

    Carlito, that's Andy Garcia. I
    don't know why he is with rich, white people

    without them noticing his lovely brown
    skin, his blue-black hair, head shaped like a bell.

    He is not trying to pass as white; were you?
    You did pass as an American, as the

    North American. You did publish as an
    American, judged the Pisan Cantos

    as what an American citizen speaks.
    Andy Garcia is fistfighting with

    British Kenneth Branaugh over the soul
    —and the body that comes with it—of a

    beautiful woman. Was Pygmalion
    the inspiration for the Statue

    of Liberty? William, alive again,
    but so are young lovers here in this dark

    theater with us, feeling each other up
    as if dreaming with eyes and legs open.

    A lover (such a lovely word, lover)
    said to me: "Is that a revolution

    in your pants or are you just happy to
    see me?" See how silliness is such an

    American patent? Let's go. No, no,
    Carlos, this isn't porno. Do you

    know the term blue movie? Delicious, no?
    English, what a magician you are

    on good days. Blue movies make me think of blue
    bodies: the waving of blue feet, dancing

    blue arms, the rubbing of blue chests and breasts,
    the kissing of blue hands. It's not like that;

    it's never like that. Let us meditate
    on popcorn, the seats, shoes, rows, aisles, curtains,

    the American flag in the corner,
    ushers, spilled Good & Plentys, screen scratches,

    exit signs. Andy Garcia is fading.
    The movie is over; then, the sudden

    ordinary light of the world, our world,
    burns with meaning and power. Look at me

    talking to a ghost instead of working.
    But perhaps this is my work. What is

    poetry if it isn't the public
    memory of a night wasted singing?

    Carlos, to quote Doris Day, que será,
    será. Ser
is the verb to be. You were.

    I hope to be. How to part from you? Ah,
    mi casa es su casa which roughly

    translates as my poem is your poem.


    JOHN ASHBERY

    The Thief of Poetry

    To you
    my friend who
    was in this

    street once
    were on it
    getting

    in with it
    getting on with
    though

    only passing by
    a smell of hamburgers
    that day

    an old mattress
    and a box spring
    as it

    darkened
    filling the empty
    rumble

    of a street
    in decay of time
    it fell out that

    there was no
    remaining
    whether out of a wish

    to be moving on
    or frustrated
    willingness to stay

    here to stand
    still
    the moment

    had other plans
    and now in this
    jungle of darkness

    the future still makes plans
    O ready to go
    Conceive of your plight

    more integrally
    the snow
    that day

    buried all but the most obtuse
    only the most generalized
    survives

    the low profile
    becomes a constant again
    the line of ocean

    of shore
    nestling
    confident

    impermanent
    to rise again
    in new

    vicissitude
    in explicit
    triumph

    drowns the hum
    of space
    the false point

    of the stars
    in specific
    new way of happening

    Now
    no one remembers
    the day you walked a certain distance

    along the beach
    and then
    walked back

    it seems
    in your tracks
    because it

    was ending
    for the first time
    yes but now

    is another way of
    spreading out
    toward the end

    the linear style
    is discarded
    though this is

    not realized for centuries
    meanwhile
    another way of living had come and gone

    leaving its width
    behind
    now the tall cedars

    had become locked into
    the plan
    so that everywhere

    you looked
    was burning
    inferential

    interior space
    not for colonies
    but already closed

    turned in on itself
    its back
    as beautiful as the sea

    where you go up
    and say the word
    eminence

    to yourself
    all was lived in
    had been lived in

    was coming to an end
    again
    in the featureless present

    that was expanding to
    cloister it
    this just a little too

    comic parable
    and so insure the second
    beginning

    of that day seen against the street
    of whichever way
    you walked and talked

    knowing not knowing
    the thing that was describing you
    and not knowing

    your taller
    well somehow more informed
    bearing

    as you wind down
    only a second
    it did matter

    you come back so seldom
    but it's all right
    the way of staying

    you started comes back
    procession into the fire
    into the sky

    the dream you lost
    firm in its day
    reassured and remembered


    TONY BARNSTONE

    Appetite

    Of course you ate the plums
    she was saving for breakfast,
    you were always selfish that way,
    and on the weekends
    you happily cranked up your Model T Ford
    and drove away from the practice, the patients,
    the neighbors, your wife,
    your wheels crushing the fallen leaves.
    You drove right out of your life,
    across the bridge and into the city
    where everything exciting was,
    the women, speakeasies, the jazz clubs,
    and you ate it all up
    because you knew when you crossed the bridge
    again into the familiar streets,
    still reeking of sweet wine and smoke,
    she would be waiting to take your overcoat
    and hat, waiting with the children
    in the laundry or in the garden,
    she would be waiting to forgive you,
    because that's what she did,
    and you, you ate it all up.


    WILLIS BARNSTONE

    William Carlos Williams Back in Puerto Rico

    Well Jersey is still a yellow place
    May comes to with rain washing

    chickens and pots of flowers
    and New England-delicate rust

    and immaculate white beds—
    but back in old San Jaun

    it's beautiful as a baseball
    game or Spanish Jews—I have some

    of their blood too—escaping
    laughing from the Inquisition.

    Here slums are magnificent
    baroque and golden red stone,

    and what makes me happier than
    the Pleiades is the skinny rubber tree

    with big boobs and milk under
    the skin all out in my back

    yard or up in the tropical rain
    forest. There pines are friends

    and cool even to cranky old men
    named Alfredo or Carlos

    who walk with shaggy nostalgia
    like the poor ascending home

    where they listen to the radio,
    make love, and iron new clothes.


    DENNIS BARONE

    Prescriptions

    When the pen pushes down on the pad,
    indentations form the hieroglyph believed
    by generations to be the finished product
    of a brilliant mind. What they don't see
    are the half-uttered words clipped short,
    scratched out and begun again, over and
    over. What they don't smell is the oil
    leaking from the car that has stopped at
    that stop light just long enough to note
    that "so much depends." So much depends
    upon a moment, a chance encounter, a
    phrase or the way Flossie's plums would
    have tasted if only he had arrived in time
    to take one from the bowl to his lips,
    those same lips that utter the words scrawled
    across a pad in the morning, typed and
    retyped in the evening. Notice
    the trace of a hand that existed once.
    Follow where it leads.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from VISITING Dr. Williams Copyright © 2011 by University of Iowa Press. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

The River of Language ... by Paul Mariani....................xvii
William Carlos Williams: Refining the Pure Products of the American Grain by Sheila Coghill and Thom Tammaro....................1
A. R. Ammons | WCW....................2
Rane Arroyo | The Carlos Poems....................7
John Ashbery | The Thief of Poetry....................13
Tony Barnstone | Appetite....................14
Willis Barnstone | William Carlos Williams Back in Puerto Rico....................16
Dennis Barone | Prescriptions....................17
Jeffery Beam | What I Know about Poetry....................18
Marvin Bell | The Book of the Dead Man (The Red Wheelbarrow)....................20
Charles Bernstein | For Bill Charley Bill on Memorial Day....................25
Ted Berrigan | Sonnet XV....................26
Eleanor Berry | Taking the Field....................27
Wendell Berry | In a Motel Parking Lot, Thinking of Dr. Williams....................30
John Berryman | Dream Song #324: An Elegy for W.C.W., the lovely man....................31
Paul Blackburn | Phone Call to Rutherford....................32
Robert Bly | A Dream of William Carlos Williams....................33
Kay Boyle | Two Twilights for William Carlos Williams....................34
Richard Brautigan | September 3 (The Dr. William Carlos Williams Mistake)....................35
Michael J. Bugeja | The Influence of William Carlos Williams....................36
John Ciardi | Bicentennial....................37
Cid Corman | "WCW & Mary O"....................38
Robert Creeley | For W.C.W....................39
Barbara Crooker | Alicia Silverstone Meets William Carlos Williams....................40
Todd Davis | Confession....................41
Greg Delanty | Williams Was Wrong....................42
Thomas Disch | In Defense of Forest Lawn....................44
Norman Dubie | A Physical Moon beyond Paterson....................46
Stephen Dunn | Memory....................47
Richard Eberhart | To William Carlos Williams....................48
Heid E. Erdrich | Some Elsie....................49
Susan Firer | Call Me Pier....................50
Ann Fisher-Wirth | Slow Rain, October....................51
Alice Friman | Ars Poetica on Lava....................52
Robert Gibb | Williams in Autumn....................54
Allen Ginsberg | Death News....................56
Peter Gizzi | The Outernationale....................65
Susan Glickman | Saxifrage: To the Memory of William Carlos Williams....................66
David Graham | Red Wheel Boogie and Dog Star Night....................67
Michael Heffernan | An Exculpation....................69
William Heyen | The Confessions of Doc Williams....................82
Edward Hirsch | Liberty Brass....................83
Daniel Hoffman | Words for Dr. Williams....................84
David Ignatow | For WCW....................85
Rodney Jones | Plea for Forgiveness....................87
Jack Kerouac | 83rd Chorus....................88
Galway Kinnell | For William Carlos Williams....................89
Kenneth Koch | Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams....................90
Karen Kovacik | WCW on Marsden Hartley....................92
Maxine Kumin | WCW....................94
James Laughlin | So Much Depends....................95
David Lehman | Poem in the Manner of William Carlos Williams....................96
Gary Leising | William Carlos Williams at Paterson Falls....................99
Denise Levertov | Williams: An Essay....................101
Philip Levine | Making It Work....................102
Lyn Lifshin | When People First Said I Must Have Been Influenced by William Carlos Williams....................104
Robert Lowell | William Carlos Williams....................105
Leza Lowitz | Eka Pada Rajakapotasana: One Legged King Pigeon Pose....................106
Clarence Major | The Young Doctor (1916)....................108
Paul Mariani | Elegy for William Carlos Williams on the Eve of His 125th Birthday....................110
Joseph Massey | From a Window....................115
Pansy Maurer-Alvarez | On Reading "Days and Nights" by Kenneth Koch....................117
James Merrill | From the Cutting-Room Floor....................118
Joe Milutis | By Defective Means....................122
Hilda Morley | For W. C. Williams....................128
Joyce Carol Oates | This Is the Time for Which We Have Been Waiting....................131
Frank O'Hara | To a Poet....................132
Charles Olson | Red Mallows....................134
Joel Oppenheimer | We Mark the Centennial of William Carlos Williams' Birth Observing a New Hampshire Patriot....................136
Louis Phillips | A Critical Glance at William Carlos Williams' Poem "The Dance"....................137
Ezra Pound | Excerpt from "Canto LXXVIII" (from The Pisan Cantos)....................138
Tony Quagliano | For Doctor WCW....................140
F. D. Reeve | Violets in a Pewter Vase....................141
Kenneth Rexroth | A Letter to William Carlos Williams....................144
Ruby Riemer | W.C.W.—In Memoriam....................145
Judith Robbins | Fragment....................148
Carolyn Foster Segal | Mullens....................149
Harvey Shapiro | For WCW....................150
Mike Smith | From the Desk of William Carlos Williams: Notes Toward a....................100
Speech in Three Parts....................152
Mary Ellen Solt | For William Carlos Williams....................154
Jack Spicer | A Red Wheelbarrow....................155
William Stafford | Understanding Poetry, by William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens....................156
Wallace Stevens | Nuances of a Theme by Williams....................157
John Stone | Getting to Sleep in New Jersey....................159
Yuko Taniguchi | Turning....................161
Charles Tomlinson | Remembering Williams....................162
Gael Turnbull | A Confession....................163
Judith Valente | Walking with Dr. Williams....................165
Katrina Vandenberg | Plums....................167
Byron Vazakas | The Nostalgias of Change....................168
Chuck Wachtel | Old Sycamore....................171
Davi Walders | "Not in ideas ..."....................173
Ernest Walsh | Doctor Bill Williams....................174
Jonathan Williams | For William Carlos Williams....................175
Elizabeth Willis | The Oldest Garden in the World....................176
Yvor Winters | Song....................177
David Wojahn | W.C.W. Watching Presley's Second Appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show: Mercy Hospital, Newark, 1956....................179
C. Dale Young | Homage to William Carlos Williams....................181
David P. Young | Homage to William Carlos Williams....................183
George Young | A Letter to William Carlos Williams....................184
Vassilis Zambaras | Bookmark, Selected Poems, William Carlos Williams....................185
David Zauhar | Commercial Poem....................187
Bill Zavatsky | Keats to Williams....................188
Kip Zegers | Facing It....................191
Notes on Contributors....................217
Permissions....................225
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)