William Carlos Williams

Spring and All (Facsimile Edition)

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Spring and All (1923) is a book of poems by William Carlos Williams. Predominately known as a poet, Williams frequently pushed the limits of prose style throughout his works, often comprised of a seamless blend of both forms of writing. In Spring and All, the closest thing to a manifesto he wrote, Williams addresses the nature of his modern poetics which not only pursues a particularly American idiom, but attempts to capture the relationship between language and the world it describes. Part essay, part poem, Spring and All is a landmark of American literature from a poet whose daring search for the outer limits of life both redefined and expanded the meaning of language itself. “There is a constant barrier between the reader and his consciousness of immediate contact with the world. If there is an ocean it is here.” In Spring and All, Williams identifies the incomprehensible nature of consciousness as the single most important subject of poetry. Accused of being “heartless” and “cruel,” of producing “positively repellant” works of art in order to “make fun of humanity,” Williams doesn’t so much defend himself as dig in his heels. His poetry is addressed “[t]o the imagination” itself; it seeks to break down the “the barrier between sense and the vaporous fringe which distracts the attention from its agonized approaches to the moment.” When he states that “so much depends / upon // a red wheel / barrow,” he refers to the need to understand the nature of language, which keeps us in touch with the world. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of William Carlos Williams’ Spring and All is a classic of American literature reimagined for modern readers.
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