Talk:William Carlos Williams

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The interplay of form and expression[edit]

I added a lot about Williams' influence on later poets (the Beat Generation, for example) -- which is important to say since his influence has had an affect on our reassesment of his importance (especially relative to Pound and Eliot).

At the end I made sure to say that Williams was perhaps fond of Ginsberg but didn't really like the rest of the Beat poets. The reason was because they lacked a certain amount of control. I read this in his biography An New World Naked. The way I phrased it was "a little bit of control is necessary." It was changed to: "he believed in the interplay of form and expression." Well ... a lot of Beat poets believe in the interplay of form and expression. This would not be a reason he disliked the Beats. Unfortunately, I can't say I have enough authority on the subject of Williams to make sure this is perfectly correct. I'm a Beat guy, not a Williams guy. But I'm not comfortable leaving it with phrasing that implies that the Beats weren't interested in the interplay of form and expression.

I discovered the quote about him disliking the Beats for their lack of control, but I don't have the original text (A New World Naked). Since we're discouraged from including original research, somebody please clarify this for me -- I don't feel qualified as Williamsist, nor do I feel that I'd be perfectly unbiased. Hopefully there is a Williamsist out there who can help.

"Stepped Triadic" vs. "Stepped" or "Triadic"[edit]

Williams himself often called his form "Stepped Triadic." Yes, it's kind of redundant. Triadic can be a kind of "stepping." But I call it "Stepped Triadic" because that's what Williams himself called it.


What were the politics of William Carlos Willaims? Was he at all involved in the USA communism movement?

As far as I know, WCW's politics were small 'p' and arose out of his sympathy with the poor he served as a doctor. In 1949 he published a booklet/poem The Pink Church that was about the human body but was misunderstood as being pro-communist. This supposed pro-communism led to him losing a consultantship with the Library of Congress in 1952/3, a fact that led to him being treated for depression. He saw himself as a devoted American, in fact. Filiocht 13:14, Dec 6, 2004 (UTC)


Just an annotation: The poems I'm using here are from a PD source and before 1923. So we can use them here.

I found two pictures of WCW, but I'm not sure of the copyright situation... Can anyone help out? This seems to be the best candidate for a PD picture: usually the text center of Virginia uses pd stuff. Though this pic seems to be part of an American Lit. Class.

been studing paterson for some time, and live near by and have taken pictures of the town and water falls: did get to meet AG prior to his death, but I could not find more info that is available. Amiri baraka was in paterson and is familiar with the town, and has been very involved more in the history of Newark, but not sure if he is going in the same direction as WCW went.

Been getting ready to start with the paterson wiki entry.

but first and foremost, have been trying to figure out that damn variable foot for some time, and have stumbled into it while reading the poem at the water fall and ears dropping on visitors on their cellphones. Also have a bunch of recording of random conversations here in northern new jersey as part of a cyborglog visual poetic system that I have been toying around withCulturejam 00:48, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)culturejam, or stef, at about half pass six on march one.

You met Allen Ginsberg? I envie you. Tell me more. I think a very good way to understand variable foot is by listening WCW read To Elsie., three times, but each time, AG was overwhelmed by poets and the public: he noded yes to my questions/statements about WCW during Amiri's birthday party. AG was drinking a scotch despite a bad liver. Did get into a more meaningful discussion with Eliot Katz who hung out with AG, and Elliot still lives in New Brunswick NJ67.85.122.204I did get speak to Anne Waldman who still is alive, and always sober about consumer technologies, virtual reality, and dreaming. She insists she communicates with "Allen and Jack" in her dreamscape. Well, people dream about all sorts of things.

I think if AG was still young, he would be all over this wiki thing: Amiri Baraka used to, and I think still does, get into internet battles with skin heads: I don't know why. This is via Steve Cannon, who is a blind poet that I help out over in NYC. These are first hand accounts and the images of a whole bunch of contempory poets can be found on my blog: stef's blog : I am not self promoting and should of made the blog annonymous, but it didn't work out that way.

Now in terms of reading "To Elsie", the answer is yes, I did, and will record myself doing it again somewhere is Rutherford: I'm not sure, but I will replay looking for the variable foot. 13:29, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)culturejam, or stef13:29, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone know more about Williams' involvement in the Armory Show (see my article on Modern arts) and about his relation to the group Others?

You've shaken loose some cobwebs. Can you tell me more about the Others. I recall nothing, but that I might have an article on this in my archives. --Modemx 18:33, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I added an entry on the Others. This is as much as I could find. --Roloway 23:57, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

On this page there is among others a self portrait in oil from 1914. What do you think? Can we use it? The copyright should have been expired since it has been done before 1923, but then again, it's a painting...

To Filiocht: Great that you improved the links section and found a picture. When I first saw that someone managed to come up with a non-copyrighted picture of WCW I was relieved. I tried to find one myself. This included contacting libraries with WCW special collections and doing some research on the internet (see external links); this page was a project for a course at my University (which also covered copyright issues)... My research took me a long time and lead only to a picture of WCW when he was 2 years old and one of his wife Flossie.:-) The rest I found is copyrighted. That is why I tried to find out how you managed to find this one; and I fear this one might be copyrighted either. At least the page you got it from ( has this tag:

The Latino/a History Project
c/o Department of History
Yale University
Box 208236
New Haven, CT 06520 
All material copyright
The Latina/o History Project
© 2004 

I don't want to spoil the fun, but did you ask them if we can use it? It would be great if we could, since I found some really nice ones but wasn't allowed to use them. Elsewise we might run into problems later. --Roloway 13:19, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The photo is pre 1923, and out of copyright, despite what the tag says. The tag refeers to the text. Filiocht | Talk 07:32, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

I'd just like to know on whose authority the writer of this page got the idea that Williams in any way shape or form helped Pound with the revisions of The Waste Land or had any idea the thing existed until Poetry magazine published it? The idea of Williams doing anything but urinating on any pre-publication copy is as absurd as...well, its pretty absurd, to say the least. --Corbmobile

Do we really have to say that WCW is "best known" for The Red Wheelbarrow? Certainly that's one that people mention, but I feel that his best works are others, and that he should be "best known" for having contributed sooo much in so many different ways to american literature. Not for TRW. I'm not going to edit it out myself, but I'll state my case here!--Rbeas 03:38, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Williams didn't actually attend the armory show, he was not in the area at the time, but was able to view most of the original paintings from the armory show in the metropolitan museum of art. Later in his life, after his strokes, he insisted that he had attended the armory show, but his wife says otherwise.( 22:08, 23 February 2006 (UTC))


Doesn't the use of this long quotation from the author's introduction to a book violate copyright? Kdammers 10:55, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

"He murdered Dino Bravo" -- bogus line at end of first paragraph and I can't see it in editting.. new to wiki, too.


"He murdered my mom in bed" -- bogus line at end of first paragraph and I can't see it in editting.. new to wiki, too.

Still in error

WCW died in Rutherford, New Jersey, and had two sons only not 15 children. Source Paul Mariani, William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked70.160.248.196 (talk) 04:51, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

William Carlos Williams article errors[edit]

"The Red Wheelbarrow" is not about a young girl recovering from a serious illness. The article writer is perhaps recalling Williams' short story "The Use of Force."

According to Mrs Williams WCW did not attend the Armory Show, and his accounts of doing so (eg in Autobiography) are actually about the 1916 Independents Exhibition
Williams had two children not 15 as box states and died in Rutherford not Kentucky
Five of Shot of Five (1910) is not a book by WCW
The dates of the Collected Volumes I and II are 1986 and 1988.
Most recent discussions of WCW consider Paterson and Spring and All his major works.

best wishes (talk) 03:45, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Most of the errors have been fixed thanks but please look in the box information. WCW did not have 15 children! he had two sons, Paul and William Eric (see Mariani biography). And he died in Rutherford, at home, not in Kentucky. (talk) 04:17, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
In future, you can fix such error yourself. After all, this is a wiki. Thanks. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:21, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

is this article a BAD JOKE?[edit]

please, can someone EDIT this article- some of us are looking for accurate info. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Dostovevsky and W.C.W.[edit]

I was rereading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostovevsky last year and came across this key passage. Porfiry Petrovitch, the investigator and procecutor of the murderer Raskolnikov exhorts the latter to find some purpose in his life in the aftermath of his crime:

"I know it's hard to believe, but give yourself up to life directly, without sophistry; don't puzzle over it. Don't worry. It will carry you straight to shore and set you on your feet. What shore? How should I know? I only believe you have a lot for which to live." (emphasis added)

Compare this to a well-known poem by WCW, Portrait of a Lady:

Your thighs are appletrees whose blossoms touch the sky. Which sky? The sky where Watteau hung a lady's slipper. Your knees are a southern breeze -- or a gust of snow. Agh! what sort of man was Fragonard? -- As if that answered anything. -- Ah, yes. Below the knees, since the tune drops that way, it is one of those white summer days, the tall grass of your ankles flickers upon the shore -- Which shore? -- the sand clings to my lips -- Which shore? Agh, petals maybe. How should I know?Which shore? Which shore? -- the petals from some hidden appletree -- Which shore? I said petals from an appletree. (emphasis added)

O.K., is this just random convergence, or did the poet insert this after reading the passage above? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Califa22651 (talkcontribs) 17:38, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Copyright problem[edit]


This article has been reverted by a bot to this version as part of a large-scale clean-up project of multiple article copyright infringement. (See the investigation subpage) This has been done to remove User:Accotink2's contributions as they have a history of extensive copyright violation and so it is assumed that all of their major contributions are copyright violations. Earlier text must not be restored, unless it can be verified to be free of infringement. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions must be deleted. Contributors may use sources as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously. VWBot (talk) 13:32, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Para moved to new section[edit]

Before anyone makes a panic reversion, this is to say that the para on Williams' contacts with "The Other" group has been moved down to the new section on his artistic contacts, where it now makes a better fit. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 20:17, 18 January 2016 (UTC)