Friday, December 14, 2012

Aimless Reading: The W's, Part 26.6 (William Carlos Williams)

The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, Volume II, 1939-1962
Williams, William Carlos
The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams
Volume II, 1939-1962


I think this was purchased at Talking Leaves...Books.

I am drawing a bit of a blank this morning. Flipping through this volume, I see that it contains three of my favorite collections outside of Spring and All: Pictures from Brueghel, The Wedge, & Desert Music. Even so, I feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of poems in addition to those. There are several collections in here that I have only scanned.

What else to say? I remember in college wondering who Breughel was and having a hell of a time finding a book of Breughel prints in the Fordham University Library. The library catalog was still pre-computer and finding anything at all was a challenge. I remember being mostly frustrated trying to find things.

I also have fond memories of working in the lower levels of the library and then in procrastination wandering around the stacks pulling random books off the shelf. I discovered a lot of interesting things roaming around like that.

I don't recall if I ever did find any prints by Breughel when I looked. I do remember eventually seeing some of the paintings the poems are based on, but I can't say for sure where I encountered them.

from The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
near

the edge of the sea
concerned 
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

unsignificantly
off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

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