Friday, May 20, 2011

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Recently received: My contributor’s copy of Visiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams, edited by Sheila Coghill & Thom Tammaro, with a foreward by Paul Mariani, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 228 pages, $24.95.

Trivia time: Out of the one hundred and two poems by the one hundred and two poets included in the anthology, Cid Corman and I share the distinction of having the shortest poem—7 lines each—though if one were to count words, yours truly would come in first with an impressive 27 as opposed to Cid’s 31.

For those of you who may have missed it on account of its diminutiveness, a slightly different version of the poem first appeared on this blog here.

And here's the poem as it appears in the anthology:

"Bookmark, Selected Poems, William Carlos Williams"

From dry fragile still
fragrant yellow-

green stalks & leaves placed
between the descent

of winter & the locust tree
in flower stems

the scent of spring.

My thanks to the editors for including my little poem in such a large gathering of poets honoring the good doctor's life and work. 

UPDATE (May 21): This series of books paying homage to American poets also includes volumes on Whitman, Dickenson, Frost and Stevens, the latter co-edited by the new Poet Laureate of West Hartford, Connecticut, James Finnegan aka  J for James.


  1. The Locust Tree in Flower was the first poem of Williams that I ever read. That’s thirty years ago now. It was in an essay by the Scottish poet Tom Leonard, The Locust Tree in Flower, and why it had difficulty flowering in Britain. I had never read anything like it and immediately went out and bought his Collected Poems. Sadly it was a one off but he was still a great discovery. Some years later I penned this one. It was the first poem I ever had published in an American print magazine.


             (in memoriam W.C.W.)

            There are plums
            in the fridge:

            will be
            a night

            for writing

            17 July 1989

  2. The good doctor touched a lot of people in many ways--your tribute to him is ample evidence of that!

  3. Ευχαριστώ πολύ, φίλε μου!


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