Portrait of a Lady by William Carlos Williams (5 star ratings)William Carlos Williams was an American poet closely associated with modernism and Imagism. He was also a pediatrician and general practitioner of medicine. Williams worked harder at being a writer than he did at being a physician, wrote biographer Linda Wagner-Martin. During his long lifetime, Williams excelled both as a poet and a physician.
Although his primary occupation was as a doctor, Williams had a full literary career. His work consists of short stories, poems, plays, novels, critical essays, an autobiography, translations and correspondence. He wrote at night and spent weekends in New York City with friends—writers and artists like the avant-garde painters Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia and the poets Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore. He became involved in the Imagist movement but soon he began to develop opinions that differed from those of his poetic peers, Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. Later in his life, Williams toured the United States giving poetry readings and lectures.
In May 1963, he was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems (1962) and the Gold Medal for Poetry of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. The Poetry Society of America continues to honor William Carlos Williams by presenting an annual award in his name for the best book of poetry published by a small, non-profit or university press.
Williams house in Rutherford is now on the National Register of Historic Places. He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2009.
William Carlos Williams--The Young Housewife
American Poets of the 20th Century
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He continues to struggle as he tries to define the shore, then doubts this choice of figurative language and turns instead to petals. Frustration really is the perfect word to describe the theme of this poem. A poem is usually the product of thinking, struggling, and editing.
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Post a Comment. Its central theme is the efforts of the speaker to describe his passion for a lady with references to the French rococo painter Jean Antoine Watteau , but fumbling over himself and also referring to another, late-rococo painter Jean-Honore Fragonard
Oil on canvas. Wallace Collection. Tonight I am feeling very sheepish. Instead, the William Carlos Williams poem has very direct references to Rococo art and painters. This is the poem, which was first published in The Dial in The poem seems to show the problems which poets can face, especially since there are two voices which interrupt the flow of the expressive content. Given the historical context of his poem and how the disjointed style of the poem is interpreted as a precursor to postmodernism, interesting to me that these two Rococo artists were mentioned.
One exception to the dearth of love lyrics is "Portrait of a Lady". The lady Williams addresses in "Portrait" seems to inquire closely into his claims and assertions. We hear her voice secondhand, in Williams's increasingly irritated echoing of her questions. What Williams tries to do--at least ostensibly--is to address a poem of praise to the lady. His nettled response to her questions, however, suggests that he may be more interested in playing the poet than the lover. The poem becomes a mechanism subject to its own laws.
A much admired homebody whose verse captures humanistic truths, William Carlos Williams managed a forty-one-year career in medicine alongside a considerable contribution to modern literature. Unlike the more flamboyant, Europeanized literary experimenters of the age, he remained tethered to small-town American life. Rebelling against the nihilism and academic elitism of modern art, the substance of his work returned poetry to the common citizen. In his late teens, he discovered the works of Walt Whitman and John Keats and began imitating their style. Because of rigid upbringing, he established the stable career that his parents expected and relegated writing to off-hours relaxation as a form of mental and spiritual liberation.