William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams saw the fast paced industrialized disorder of post World War I America as fertile grounds for the future of poetry. As artistic and intellectual Modernist circles turned away from the the past and looked towards the future, Williams saw the potential for a new, distinctly American poetic form, which would be free of the oppressive, exclusive and worn-out language of Anglo-European literature, poetry, and thought.  Williams strove to remove poetry from the academy and bring it to the public

William’s work focuses on the everyday, the common place, the here and now, the concrete experiences of life, both in terms of subject matter and structure. Williams’ line breaks and  rhythms mimic very colloquial and decidedly American patterns of speech. He sought to write poetry that was formed by the local environment and language. His work is born from a new, untamed, untraversed, and in many ways dislocated America in which poetry is a necessary means to placing oneself within the world. Williams inextricably links everyday life and poetry. Both depend on the other: his poems reflect and examine the day-to-day, and poetry is necessary to navigate the daily experience of a disordered world.

Williams did not shy away from the gritty reality of the early 20th century, but rather than looking at it as purely tragic, broken, and cheapened, he saw it as a potential for new growth, an opportunity to reject the literary restrictions of the past.