Saturday, December 15, 2012

Aimless Reading: The W's, Part 26.7 (William Carlos Williams)

Spring and All
Williams, William Carlos
Spring and All

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books.

I wish publishers would reprint more collections like this. I know I have said this before, but Spring and All is such a different book with the prose and poetry woven together. The poems become parts of a larger narrative argument that just isn't there without the prose chapters. It's also, to hammer on my gripes about collected poems, a manageable amount of reading, a comfortable format, etc. I pulled if off the shelf this morning and re-read the first third of the book before I began writing.

I'd love to see some other books reprinted as well, like Oppen's Discrete Series, which, if you ever get a chance to see the original, Objectivist Press edition, is a completely different book than the one re-printed in the collected poems. The layout gets reproduced in the reprinting of Oppen's collected, but it still doesn't have the feel of a collection. That would be a great project for someone to take up someday. Come on, New Directions! I double dog dare you to reprint that!

from Spring and All

The imagination, intoxicated by prohibitions, rises to drunken heights to destroy the world. Let it rage, let it kill. The imagination is supreme. To it all our works forever, from the remotest past to the farthest future, have been, are and will be dedicated. To it alone we show our wit by having raised in its honor as monument not the least pebble. To it now we come to dedicate our secret project: the annihilation of every human creature on the face of the earth. This is something never before attempted. None to remain; nothing by the lower vertebrates, the mollusks, insects and plants. Then at last will the world be made anew. Houses crumble to ruin, cities disappear giving place to mounds of soil blown thither by the winds, small bushes and grass give way to trees which grow old and are succeeded by other trees for countless generations. A marvelous serenity broken only by bird and wild beast calls reigns over the entire sphere. Order and peace abound.

(Sort of changes how you read the "Red Wheelbarrow," doesn't it? All that's left are the chickens, dead perhaps, and a wheelbarrow and some rainwater.)

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