In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams sets aside the mass of biography and literary criticism that has accumulated around the work and person of Walt Whitman, and attempts to go back to "Leaves of Grass" as he first encountered it, to explore why Whitman's epic "continues to inspire and sometimes daunt" him. The result is a personal reassessment and appr...more
Williams acts as a detective, out to explore a mystery he can never solve: the source of Whitman’s genius. His foremost concern – when and how Whitman first heard his music – kicks off the investigation with a probing and insightful vignette titled simply, “The Music.” In language itself poetic, Williams states, “[ . . .] we’ll never really know when he first fully intuited, and heard, and knew, that surge of language soun...more
If you have read Whitman and read any of C.K. Williams’ poetry – the review is simple: "Masters at work (or is that play)!"
I had the opportunity to meet C.K. W...more
"It's essential to keep in mind that in poetry the music comes first, before everything else, everything (italicized) else: until the poem has found its music, it's merely verbal matter, information. Thought, meaning, vision, the very words, come after the music has been e...more