Today is the birthday of American poet William Carlos Williams (1883-1963). William was born and lived most of his life in Rutherford, New Jersey. He grew up in a bilingual home; his father was English and his mother was Puerto Rican. In addition to being an accomplished poet, Williams was also a practicing physician. His most famous poem is “The Red Wheelbarrow,” which was published in his book Spring and All published in 1923.
The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
William’s poem typifies the imagism, an early 20th century movement in which poets strove to use common language and clear, precise imagery.
Today’s Challenge: Poetry 100
Find a short published poem (50 words or fewer) by William Carlos William or some other poet. Memorize and recite the poem, noticing how the poet uses economy of language to make meaning. Then, compose your own short poem of 50 words or less.
Today’s Quotation: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” –William Shakespeare