12 June 2008

William Carlos Williams

[from William Carlos Williams's Collected Poems: Volume II 1939-1962]

The Bitter World of Spring

On a wet pavement the white sky recedes
mottled black by the inverted
pillars of the red elms,
in perspective, that lift the tangled

net of their desires hard into
the falling rain. And brown smoke
is driven down, running like
water over the roof of the bridge-

keeper's cubicle. And, as usual,
the fight as to the nature of poetry
— Shall the philosophers capture it? —
is on. And, casting an eye

down into the water, there, announced
by the silence of a white
bush in flower, close
under the bridge, the shad ascend,

midway between the surface and the mud,
and you can see their bodies
red-finned in the dark
water headed, unrelenting, upstream.

The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, 2 Volume Set

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