Selected Poems

by William Carlos Williams

Other authorsCharles Tomlinson (Editor)
Paper Book, 1985





New York : New Directions, 1985.


Opening with Professor Tomlinson's superbly clear and helpful introduction this selection reflects the most up-to-date Williams scholarship. In addition to including many more pieces, Tomlinson has organized the whole in chronological order. "It isn't what he [the poet] says that counts as a work of art," Williams maintained, "it's what he makes, with such intensity of purpose that it lives with an intrinsic movement of its own to verify its authenticity."

User reviews

LibraryThing member jppoetryreader
This is the first full book of WCW's poetry I've read and I was pleasantly surprised by his range, considering it's only his more spare poems that get anthologized. I really have never understood why "The Red Wheelbarrow" has been singled out for so much press. It's instructional value? As an
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example of imagism? Now that I've read more of his work, I think it's even more ridiculous that "The Red Wheelbarrow" has become representative of his poetry because it really isn't.

I also feel vindicated in my earlier purchase of a two volume set of his collected poems and look forward to reading those as time allows. This 200 page volume was discovered at a used bookstore for $1.50 and I just couldn't pass it up. And I'm glad I didn't, not only because it has whetted my appetite for the collected works but because it will make a great loaner to others curious about him.

I'm not quite finished with this book. The last 40 pages are excerpts from his long poem "Paterson," which I'm finding I need to read slowly to catch how he's layering things. Thus far I'm finding it a very interesting poem. The same person who put together the collected volumes has also brought out an edition of Paterson and it's now on my amazon wish list.
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LibraryThing member whatsmacksaid
To be fair, I read this for a WCW class and had to zoom through 200 poems in about a week. But so many of them didn't make sense to me. References felt obscure and... well, I just had trouble enjoying most of the poems. My favorites, though, were "El Hombre" and "The Manouevre."



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