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(excerpt) WC Williams, Spring and All

(excerpt) WC Williams, Spring and All

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Published by New Directions
Excerpt from the forthcoming New Directions single edition of Spring and All. This edition will feature an introduction by C.D. Wright.
Excerpt from the forthcoming New Directions single edition of Spring and All. This edition will feature an introduction by C.D. Wright.

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Published by: New Directions on Mar 11, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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02/17/2013

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SpringandAll
I
F
anythingofmomentresults-somuchthebetter.Andsomuchthemorelikelywillitbethatnoonewillwanttoseeit.Thereisaconstantharrierbetweenthereaderandhisconsciousnessofimmediatecontactwiththeworld.
If
thereisanoceanitishere.Orrather,thewholeworldisbetween:Yesterday,tomorrow,Europe,Asia,Africa,-allthingsremovedandimpossible,thetowerofthechurchatSeville,the
Parthenon,
Whatdotheymeanwhentheysay:"
J
donotlikeyourpoems;youhavenofaithwhatever.Youseemneithertohavesufferednor,infact,tohavefeltanythingverydeeply.Thereisnothingappealinginwhatyousaybutonthecontrarythepoemsarepositivelyrepellant.Theyareheartless,cruel,theymakefunofhumanity.WhatinGod'snamedoyoumean?Areyouapagan?Haveyounotoleranceforhumanfrailty?Rhymeyoumayperhapstake
 
-2-
awaybutrythm!whythereisnoneinyourworkwhatever.Isthiswhatyoucallpoetry?
It
istheveryantithesisofpoetry.
It
isantipoetry.
It
istheannihilationoflifeuponwhichyouarebent.Poetrythatusedtogohandinhandwithlife,poetrythatinterpretedourdeepestpromptings,poetrythatinspired,thatledusforwardtonewdiscoveries,newdepthsoftolerance,newheightsofexaltation.Youmoderns!itisthedeathofpoetrythatyouareaccomplishing.No.Icannotunderstandthiswork.Youhavenotyetsufferedacruelblowfromlife.Whenyouhavesufferedyouwillwritedifferently?
»
Perhapsthisnobleapostrophymeanssomethingterribleforme,Iamnotcertain,butforthemomentIinterpret
it
tosay:
«
Youhaverobbedme.God,Iamnaked.WhatshallIdo?
»-
ByittheymeanthatwhenIhavesuffered(providedIhavenotdonesoasyet)Itooshallrunforcover;thatItooshallseekrefugeinfantasy.Andmindyou,IdonotsaythatIwillnot.Todecoratemyage.Buttodayitisdifferent.Thereaderknowshimselfashewast-wentyyearsagoandhehasalsoinmindavisionofwhathewouldbe,someday.Oh,someday!Butthethingheneverknowsandneverdarestoknowiswhatheisattheexactmomentthatheis.Andthismomentisthe
 
-3-
onlythinginwhichIamatallinterested.Ergo,whocaresforanything
I
do?Andwhatdo
I
care'?
.
'
I
lovemyfellowcreature.Jesus,howIlovehim:endways,sideways,frontwaysandalltheotherways-buthedoesn'texist
I
Neitherdoesshe.
I
do,inabastardlysortofway.TowhomthenamIaddressed?Totheimagina-tion.Infacttoreturnuponmythemeforthetimenearlyallwriting,uptothepresent,
if
notallart,hasbeenespeciallydesignedtokeepupthebarrierbetweensenseandthevaporousfringewhichdis-tractstheattentionfromitsagonizedapproachestothemoment.
It
hasbeenalwaysasearchfor"thebeautifulillusion".Verywell.Iamnotinsearchof"thebeautifulillusion".Andifwhen
r
pompouslyannouncethatIamaddressed-Totheimagination-youbelievethatIthusdivorcemyselffromlifeandso.defeatmyownend,Ireply:Torefine,toclarify,tointensifythateternalmomentinwhichwealonelivethereisbutasingleforce-theimagination.Thisisitsbook.Imyselfinviteyoutoreadandtosee,Intheimagination,wearefromhenceforth(so

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