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Today in Literature

March 4, 2009

4 March 1963: American physician and modernist poet William Carlos Williams passed away at the age of 79. Williams, along with having the absolute best name ever, is one of the most studied and respected poets of the American modernist movement. His poetry was a result of his philosophy that there are “no ideas but in things” (written in his poem “Patterson”) and is evident in his poetry inspired by the everyday that powerfully demonstrates the human experience.

Williams most famous and anthologized poem (though my wife absolutely hates it and protests every time I try to recite it in public) is “The Red Wheelbarrow”:

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

Another favorite of mine is “This Is Just To Say”:

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

so cold


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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 4, 2009 5:53 pm

    I LOVE “This is Just to Say.” It’s one of my favorite poems. It’s not at all pretentious, and it makes me smile every time I read it.

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