William Carlos Williams Joey Wilson block 8

The life of William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams lived a remarkably conventional life. Williams has 1 brother and he grew up in a town called Rutherford in New Jersey. Williams had an enthusiastic pursuit in math and science when he attended Horace Mann High School in New York City. Later in high school Williams took interests in languages and reading books. He then later wrote his first poem which gave him joy. Williams said in a letter to his mom that he would never do a bad deed in his life and that he never thought anything bad of his parents. Parental influence was one of the biggest reasons that sent him straight to The University of Pennsylvania from high school. Williams went to college to study medicine, but used his creativity to write poems. His favorite poets were John Keats and Walt Whitman. Williams made a friend in college named Ezra Pound which made him close the door on the studied elegance of Keats and the raw vigor of Whitman. Pound introduced Williams to a group of friends who shared their feelings with him and influenced his life. Williams finished school and became a doctor for 40 years. As a doctor his medical badge would let him experience things which helped him with his poetry. Some of his poems were born on prescription blanks, others typed in a few spare minutes between patient visits. His work fueled his poetry. Williams was surrounded with criticism but didn’t let that bother him and he continued the advances he felt like he had made in American poetry. Most of his work was not noticed and didn’t receive much attention until the 1950’s and 1960’s. Some of Williams best poems are “This is Just to Say,” “Paterson,” “The Great Figure,” and “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus.”

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Joseph Wilson


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