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A comparison and analysis of poems from William Carlos Williams - Essay Example

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A poet of the early half of the 1900s, Williams is best known for his concentration on using ordinary words to portray ordinary events in extraordinary ways. His artistic use of language, that nevertheless left his subject…
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A comparison and analysis of poems from William Carlos Williams
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Download file to see previous pages “His major difference with Pound (apart from Williamss acutely responsive and realistic presentations of women and his revulsion against fascism; see especially Paterson III-V) lay in his desire to create a specifically American poetics based on the rhythms and colorations of American speech, thought, and experience.”1 His topics frequently center around the middle class women and men he treated as a part of his medical profession and his plain language often had people of his time misunderstanding the artistry behind his words. However, it is in this colloquialism that he is able to capture the voice of the nation, “its multiracial and immigrant streams of speech and behaviour, its violence and exuberance, its ignorance of its own general and regional history. … It is presented as a search for the elements of a ‘common language’: a shared cultural and historical awareness to counteract the fragmentation of American society.”2 This effort to capture the voice of the ‘common’ American as well as to present the images that are most important to the country’s identity can be traced through such poems as “Spring and All,” “The Red Wheelbarrow” and “To Elsie.”
At the opening of his second book of poems, Spring and All, Williams includes a poem that remained untitled in his original version but that has come to be known by the same name as the volume in which it first appeared. “Spring and All” focuses upon the more or less invisible processes that are occurring as spring approaches the land, making a connection between this movement and the movement that can be found within the mind of an engaged reader. He begins trying to establish that engagement with his very first line, “By the road to the contagious hospital.”3 The unusual combination of words startles us into paying attention. A contagious hospital is at once deadly and life-giving, potentially fatal and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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