William Carlos Williams

Literary Birthday – 17 September – William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams was born 17 September 1883, and died 4 March 1963.


  1. My first poem was a bolt from the blue … it broke a spell of disillusion and suicidal despondence. … it filled me with soul satisfying joy.
  2. In description words adhere to certain objects, and have the effect on the sense of oysters, or barnacles.
  3. One thing I am convinced more and more is true and that is this: the only way to be truly happy is to make others happy. When you realize that and take advantage of the fact, everything is made perfect.
  4. The job of the poet is to use language effectively, his own language, the only language which is to him authentic.
  5. I keep writing largely because I get a satisfaction from it which can’t be duplicated elsewhere. It fills the moments which otherwise are either terrifying or depressed.
  6. I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.
  7. But all art is sensual and poetry particularly so. It is directly, that is, of the senses, and since the senses do not exist without an object for their employment all art is necessarily objective. It doesn’t declaim or explain, it presents.
  8. Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of angels.

William Carlos Williams was an American poet closely associated with modernism and imagism. He was also a paediatrician. Williams, ‘worked harder at being a writer than he did at being a physician’, but excelled at both.

Source for Image


Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 17th September 2014