Wednesday, April 23, 2008

William Carlos Williams hate

Have you heard of William Carlos Williams?

He's a great American poet, but I (and it turns out others) have a residue of dislike towards him.

My history of disliking Williams (and I acknowledge that it is a petty, childish type of dislike) stems from one poem, "The Red Wheelbarrow." To be truthful, I should acknowledge that it is the ONLY poem of WCW's that I know . . . at least that WAS true until today.

This morning, I'm doing laundry, Hannah's sleeping, Grace (still a bit sick and avoiding daycare for two days) is drawing. I'm listening to the "This American Life" podcast--which you can listen to in its entirety here, but the relevant portion is around the 52 minute mark, I think.

What you'll hear is a discussion of another WCW poem entitled "This is Just to Say." It has generated ire from some poets and poetry students (according to the story) because it is a nonapology poem. You can read the original poem here.

What I find intersting is that William's poetry seems to bring out the anger in people--myself included. You can read about my own brief history with "The Red Wheelbarrow" here. But I should note that many people love Williams--and who am I to judge . . . except that I do, as you've already read.

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