Posts Tagged ‘william carlos williams’

One of the Persimmons

November 4, 2011

If you will forgive me, sir…
I ate one the persimmons.
There were six, but one
was bruised and I knew you wanted
the picture to be a balance
of brush strokes
and paint and persimmon.
Like Mu Qi. I know you think perfection
is an illusion found in art alone, but…

It could have been a wormhole
sir, that persimmon, past death,
so delicious, so cold.


Poetry about poetry and poetry about hunger

October 19, 2008

I too, dislike it, Marianne Moore writes in a poem she simply called Poetry: as if sensing the ensuing fate of poetry is to be genuinely ignored—but offers a quick apologia: poetry is a place for the genuine, she insists. It is useful.

One must make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not pretty,
nor till the poets among us can be
“literalists of
the imagination”–above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have


 One is tempted to discount such things despite the good writing. Yes, an imaginary garden with real toads is one of the better characterizations of a poem, but we have real problems in this world, why spend a single iota of time worrying about, you know, meta-poetry? Like, if you can’t find something serious to write about…

Listen however to what William Carlos Williams is telling his wife:

My heart rouses

          thinking to bring you news

                    of something

that concerns you

          and concerns many men.  Look at

                    what passes for the new.

You will not find it there but in

          despised poems.

                    It is difficult

to get the news from poems

          yet men die miserably every day

                    for lack

of what is found there.


Landing fresh on the planet from Mars, one would want to know more about this thing called a ‘poem’—despised or not. Let’s try another one:

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