William Carlos Williams
“The local.” “Plain American which cats and dogs can read.” Doubter of poetic meter. “No ideas but in things.” ‘The Red Wheelbarrow,’ the model example of the Imagist movement’s style and principles. ‘This is Just to Say.’
Spring and All
W.C. Williams. “By the road to the contagious hospital…They enter the new world naked/cold, uncertain of all/ save that they enter…the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf…the stark dignity of entrace…rooted, they/ grip down and begin to awaken.”
Aspodel, that greeny flower
W.C. Williams. “We lived long together/ a life filled/ if you will/ with flowers. So that/ I was cheered/ when I came first to know/ that there were flowers also/ in hell.”
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
W.C. Williams. “According to Brueghel/ when Icarus fell/ it was spring…a splash quite unnoticed/ this was/ Icarus drowning.”
W. C. Williams. “I will teach you my townspeople/ how to perform a funeral…Let it be weathered–like a farm wagon–/ with gilt wheels (this could be/ applied fresh at small expense…”
The Red Wheelbarrow
W.C. Williams. “So much depends/upon/ /a red wheel/ barrow/ / glazed with rain/ water/ /beside the white/ chickens.”
(1887-1972) ‘Poetry.’ Wholly denied meter. “syllabics.”
Marianne Moore. “I, too, dislike it…all this fiddle.” “…with a perfect contempt for it, one/ discovers in/ it after all, a place for the genuine.” “the immovable critic twitching his skin like a/horse/ that feels a flea…” “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.”
“Mending Wall,” “Design,” “Meeting and passing,” “Mowing,” “Spring Pools.”
Robert Frost. “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…The gaps, I mean/ No one has seen them made or heard them made/ But at spring mending-time we find them there.” “My apple trees will never get across/ And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.” “Good fences make good neighbours.” “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know/ What I was walling in or walling out…”
Robert Frost. “I found a dimpled spider, fat and white…Assorted characters of death and blight… What had that flower to do with being white/ The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?” “What but design of darkness to appall?–/ If design govern in a thing so small.”
Meeting and passing
Robert Frost. “But all/ We did that day was mingle great and small/ Footprints in summer dust as if we drew/ The figure of our being less than two/ But more than one as yet. Your parasol/ Pointed the decimal off with one deep thrust.”
Robert Frost. “What was it whispered?…Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound–/ And that was why it whispered and did not speak.” “It was no dream of the gift of idle hours/ Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf/ Anything more than the truth would have seemed to weak…The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows.”
Robert Frost. “That trees that have it in their pent up buds/ To darken nature and be summer woods — / Let them think twice before they use their powers/ To blot out and drink up and sweep away/ These flowery waters and these watery flowers/ From snow that melted only yesterday.”
American. (1843-1916) Long, involute syntax. ‘The Beast in the Jungle,’ ‘Portrait of a Lady,’ “The Turn of the Screw.’
Henry James, Novel. Lambert Strether, the Newsomes, Chad, Waymarsh, Maria Gostrey. Paris, Miss Barrace, Little John Bilham, the Countess, Madame de Vionnet, Sarah and Jim Pocock.
The Beast in the Jungle
Henry James, Novel. John Marcher, Mary Bartram. Marcher is seized with the belief that his life is to be defined by some catastrophic or spectacular event, lying in wait for him like a ‘beast in the jungle.’
The Golden Bowl
Henry James. Adam Verver (US billionaire in London), daughter Maggie, Italian Prince Amerigo, Charlotte Stant.
The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James. Isabel Archer, heiress. Touchetts, Lord Warburton, Caspar Goodwood Machiavellan schemings of two American expatriates. Gilbert Osmond, Madame Merle. Pansy, Ned Rosier.
The Aspern Papers
Henry James, Novella.