William Carlos Williams

1883-1963

 

William Carlos Williams is buried in the Hillside Cemetery, Lyndhurst, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA.
 

Grave of William Carlos Williams

While studying medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Williams met, and became friends with, Ezra Pound. Pound exerted a profound influence on Williams' writing and subsequently, much of his early poetry is Imagist in nature. However, as time went by, Williams increasingly moved away from Imagism in favour of what he called Objectivism. He also attempted to create poetry which took as its subject matter the everyday lives of ordinary Americans. He famously described his approach to writing as 'no ideas but in things'.

For most of his life Williams worked as a paediatrician in his home town of Rutherford, New Jersey. His work as a doctor provided an inspiration for much of his literary output, giving him an insight into what he referred to as: 'the secret gardens of the self '. 

William Carlos Williams

During the 1920s and 1930's Williams' work was overshadowed by that of T.S. Eliot, but during the 1950s and 1960s his work received wider attention and influenced younger U.S. poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Robert Creeley.

In 1948 Williams suffered a heart attack - followed by a series of strokes which prevented him from taking up the post of Poet Laureate in 1952.

Williams is now regarded, both in Europe and America, as one of the most important of the Modernist poets.

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

The Red Wheelbarrow

 

 


 

 

 
 
 
 

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