William Carlos Williams

I just couldn't resist
I have eaten
the apricots 
that were in  
the fridge
and which
I had probably 
put too close to
the freezer compartment
Woe is me
They were delicious 
but so cold
my teeth hurt 

I wasn't planning to do a parody of William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), who is beyond parody really, but then there was this little incident with the apricots, and suddenly it was inevitable. (My teeth really do hurt as I write this.) 

WCW was one of the most important and influential American poets of the twentieth century. His two best-known poems are The Red Wheelbarrow, and This is just to say (on which the above piece of nonsense is based). His poems were short and to the point, and written in "plain American which dogs and cats can read". He featured prominently in the defining anthology of the Imagist movement, which flourished briefly between 1914-1916 before dissolving itself voluntarily in 1917. Other members of that movement were Ezra Pound and T S Eliot, but he fell out with them because he didn't like the game of "Have you read all the same books as me?" that they played in their poems for rather a lot of the time. This can only be to his credit.

There is little danger of confusing him with John Hartley Williams or C K Williams, of each of whom I have also done a parody.

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Bob Newman 2006. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 03/01/2007