Monday, October 19, 2009

A Characteristic of Williams's Poems

Perhaps it uses too much imagination? Perhaps the overflow of imagination causes the poem to be unsound?

It has been said that a lot can be told about the way a person writes, and that is no different than Williams's writing. If a close look is taken, especially with the poems, it can be seen that they are written in very short, almost violent bursts with little appreciation for grammar.

For reference of this post, please look at poem XVII on p. 130.

To me, the reading seems jerky, short of breath and noncontinuous. For example, the last few (or last) stanza: "Nobody/ Nobody Else/ but me--/ They can't copy it" seems like they would not flow together as well as what a poem would seem to be. In the view of the whole poem, this jerkiness is magnified as the topics move from music to something slightly unrelated to his own opinions. I think this huge rush of ideas can only be blamed on Williams's overactive imagination, which unfortunately to me causes the poem to falter and be structurally insecure.


  1. I do agree with the fact that Williams' poems are not very conventional and lack proper grammar, but I feel like this just enhances his writing style. His way of writing is very unique and therefore becomes intriguing to me. It is so different from Marianne Moore, but I enjoy reading it a lot more. It is not necessarily easier to read, but I feel as though since there emotion is more present it is easier to try and relate to.

  2. I have to disagree with you on this one. I don't think that William's style hinders the poem. Williams says that imagination is the only way to advance intelligence. If all poems were written the same way, then none of them would stand out. To me William's unique style emphasizes one of the ideas that he presents in Spring and All: refusal to follow the crowd. The short bursts that he uses leave some information out, forcing the audience to draw upon their own experiences and imagination. Williams wants the audience to be actively engaged while reading his poems.

  3. I too have to disagree with you on this one. Yes, his style is different that that of other writers we have read in class, but i don't think it affects the point he's trying to make in his writing in a negative way; i actually think it enhances what he's trying to say. To me it seemed that not only was he talking about imagination, but he was, in a sense, giving us a glimpse of his imagination as well. An example would be mixing up the sequence of the chapters, writing them in different forms, and even writing them up-side-down. I felt that his "bursts" of writing actually helped to show how passonate he is about the imagination especially in the example you gave.


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