William Carlos Williams Quotes

Whatever my life has been it has been single in purpose, single in design and constantly directed to the one end of discovery, if possible, of some purpose in being alive… Poetry, an art, is what answer I have.

It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.

It is the poet who lives locally, and whose senses are applied no way else than locally to particulars, which are the agent and the maker of all culture. It is the poet’s job and the poet lives on the job, on the location.

By listening to his language of his locality the poet begins to learn his craft. It is his function to lift, by use of imagination and the language he hears, the material conditions and appearances of his environment to the sphere of the intelligence where they will have new currency.

Poetry avoids the last illusion of prose, which so gently sometimes and at others so passionately pretends that things are thus and thus. In poetry they are also thus and thus, but because the arrangement of the lines, the pattern within the whole, will have it so. Exquisitely leaning toward an implied untruth, prose persuades […]

But all art is sensual and poetry particularly so. It is directly, that is, of the senses, and since the senses do not exist without an object for their employment all art is necessarily objective. It doesn’t declaim or explain, it presents.

Times change and forms and their meanings alter. Thus new poems are necessary. Their forms must be discovered in the spoken, living language of their day, or old forms, embodying exploded concepts, will tyrannize over imagination, depriving us of its greatest benefits. In the forms of new poems will lie embedded the essences of future […]

Liquor and love rescue the cloudy sense banish its despair give it a home.

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 […]

It is beauty itself that lives day by day in them idly – This is the power of their faces.