Lecture 16 - William Carlos Williams

author: Langdon Hammer, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: July 1, 2010,   recorded: February 2007,   views: 591
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

The poetry of William Carlos Williams is presented and analyzed. His use of enjambment to surprise and transform is examined in order to highlight Williams's interest in depicting creative and cognitive processes. The Imagist qualities of much of Williams's poetry is considered alongside his engagement with modernist art--particularly the preoccupation of Duchamps and Cubist painters with the process of representing sensual perception. His free verse, which includes the innovative use of white space and carefully, visually balanced lines, establishes his position as one of the most visually-oriented poets in all of modernism.

Reading assignment:

William Carlos Williams: "Danse Russe," "Queen-Ann's-Lace," "The Great Figure," "Spring and All," "To Elsie," "The Red Wheelbarrow," "This is Just to Say," "Death," "The Yachts," "Burning the Christmas Greens," "From Paterson," "The Ivy Crown," "Asphodel," "That Greeny Flower"; Norton: Prologue to Kora in Hell (pp. 954-59)

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 anonymous, August 25, 2010 at 5:29 a.m.:

"Sentence and Solas" -- this guy is delightful. I've listened to six of his lectures; enjoyed them all and learned reams --

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