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The Collected Poems, Vol. 2: 1939-1962

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  4,021 ratings  ·  24 reviews
'And when the second and final colume of Williams' 'Collected Poems' is published, it should become even more apparent that he is this century's major American poet.' --Larry Kart, 'Chicago Tribune' ...more
Paperback, 533 pages
Published September 17th 1991 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published June 1967)
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Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
You really need to read the Collected to understand Williams. The various Selecteds out there really don't do this remarkable poet justice (though the review I read of Pinsky's new edited volume of Williams was positive--haven't checked that out yet). Williams was not just an Imagist poet, writing about how much depends on that red wheelbarrow, not just a free verse confessional poet of the late books, inspiration to Robert Lowell, the one who allowed him and Snodgrass and Plath and Sexton to "b ...more
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book of poems had to grow on me. At first I wasn't touched by some of the early poems in the volume, but as I read further I came to love William Carlos Williams' use of imagery and language. Much of humanity and life are in these poems: average Americans including a few black people,scenes from other countries and eras, "translations" of some ancient Chinese poets. Also poems from Pictures from Brueghel are here for which he won a posthumous Nobel Prize. It took me a very long time to get ...more
Stuart Marlatt
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry

Just as the nature of briars
is to tear flesh,
I have proceeded
through them.
the briars out,
they say.
You cannot live
and keep free of
- from "The Ivy Crown"

WCW is a mixed bag: romantic, prolific, innovative, influential and often deeply moving, but he fails as often as he succeeds. Fortunately, his successes are truly phenomenal. Everyone knows The Red Wheelbarrow and far too much self-conscious ink has been spilled on that little poem for me to add any here. Many of
mwpm mwpm
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, omnibus
The second volume of The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams includes The Wedge , The Clouds , The Pink Church , The Desert Music , Journey to Love , and Pictures from Brueghel .

In addition, Williams's uncollected poems are arranged chronologically and inserted between the individual books.
It was outside a place
across the track -
We'd been going all day.

But you know - none
of us had any dough we
're all on relief -

I told the Chief about
it this morning and
he wanted to pick
Jon Corelis
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Essential collection of a great American poet

***** A Five Star Poetry Book: Recommended for All Readers

W. C. Williams's poems are about as important to modern American poetry as the Rocky Mountains are to the American contintent: you can't get around them. As the reviews here indicate, he's still not to everyone's taste, but his influence is enormous, largely defining great areas of subsequent American verse (most of which however in my opinion isn't nearly as good as Williams himself.) If you a
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Given Williams’ concern to escape old poetic forms, he remains surprisingly indebted to romantic ideas.
Dane Cobain
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, here we go – this is the last review that I have to write for the site, and once I finish this off, I’m done – I’ll have reviewed every book that I’ve ever read, and I’ll only have to worry about reviewing the books that I read in the future. Awesome!

I’ve read both of William Carlos Williams’ Collected Poems books, and whilst they are pretty heavy going at 558 pages, they’re a lot of fun and you enjoy every step of the way. Williams had a gift for using evocative language, and even when he
Alejandro Teruel
Dec 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poesía, usb
An exhaustive second volume of William Carlos Williams' poetry arranged by chronological order of his published books: The Wedge (1944), The Clouds(1948), The Pink Church(1949), The Desert Music(1954), Journey to Love(1955), Pictures from Brueghel(1962). The “epic” Paterson is not included. These poems appear in the same order they appeared in the published books; the astonishing number of poems not incorporated into books are arranged in strict chronological order and grouped by chronological i ...more
Nov 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The Rewaking

Sooner or later
we must come to the end
of striving

to re-establish
the image the image of
the rose

but not yet
you say extending the
time indefinitely

your love until a whole

the violet to the very
lady's slipper

and so by
your love the very sun
itself is revived

Williams is amazing, his poetry feels like breathing to me. He crammed in his writing at night after busily delivering babies all day and his poems are bursting with real life as seen by someone with all his senses open.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As much as I loved Volume I - I loved this collection better. It shows a more mature poet. It shows a poet both expanding his talents and also spreading them in and through his other passions and loves. It is a very strong collection of the poems of this doctor/writer/artist/lover of life. Brilliant!
Gabe Redel
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
There's definitely a maturity in his later work, but he lost a bit of that youthful passion that made his early works so good. ...more
Apr 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
You must read the poems in Dessert Music and Journey to Love. Well, if you're a poet and at all interested in that wonderful triadic line that Williams does, you must read those poems. ...more
Steven Logan
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
It is a great collection of some really good poems.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love that red wheel barrow
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partial-read
The Desert Music/Journey to Love
These two books epitomize William's variable foot and three line triads that represented much of his later poetry, and no where else does he make better use of this form (except, maybe, parts of Paterson). These books also brood on many themes and images common in Williams: love, imagination, flowers, mortality, and poetry. In fact, these appear themes appear so often in both books that they give the sense of one long piece.

The Descent and The Desert Music stand o
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
I read each poem in this book hoping that the next one would be better, or at least, make more sense. I was actually looking for a poem that I had heard at a writer's workshop and thought was really cool. The speaker had read a couple poems by this author and I was piqued to read more of his writing. But when I finished this book, I was majorly disappointed. I didn't find any poems that I thought were awesome or deeply moving. Instead I was annoyed that I had just wasted my time reading this boo ...more
Antonio Delgado
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Words have sounds that found images in the sound of words that create the images that are found in the words that one creates for sounds.... William Carlos Williams knows how to see and hear through the words of his poems.
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the creativity behind the author's work, and his style in general. His poetry is eye catching and exciting regardless of how old it is. ...more
Jan 29, 2009 added it
Best Modernist.
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Some people
Shelves: poetry
This one was better.
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
W.C.W. is one of my all-time favorites.

I love his pared down words. And images.
Cindi Van Meir
Jul 02, 2008 rated it liked it
So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow
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Oct 15, 2012
Charles Williams
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Sep 15, 2014
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Oct 07, 2016
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Jan 13, 2016
Edward Frost
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Dec 11, 2015
rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2012
James E. Martin
rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2012
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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, Will

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“A poem is this:/A nuance of sound/delicately operating/upon a cataract of sense/...the particulars/of a song waking/upon a bed of sound.” 34 likes

Deny yourself all
half things. Have it
or leave it.

But it will keep—or
it is not worth
the having.

Never start
anything you can't

However do not lose
faith because you
are starved!

She loves you
she says. Believe it

But today
the particulars
of poetry

that difficult art
your whole attention.”
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