William Carlos Williams and Nigel Roberts...

    William Carlos Williams image credit

    so much depends

    a red wheel

    glazed with rain

    beside the white

    - William Carlos Williams, Spring and All


    how many times

    have I asked you

    to get that barrow

    & those chickens


    out of the rain.

    - Nigel Roberts, Steps for Astaire

    I love this mischievous yet respectful response from an Australian poet to an American poet of another, earlier generation. It is for me quirky and clever. The Doctor-poet William Carlos Williams(1883 - 1963), famed friend of Ezra Pound, Marcel Duchamp and T.S Eliot; he was an inspiration to Allen Ginsberg and many others involved in the Beat Generation, as well as for many other successive generations of writers. His imagist poems are beautiful in their brevity and simplicity, but he was also capable of writing involved and protracted verse. William Carlos Williams: Modernist, socialist, pediatrician, general practitioner, mentor and poet. Do you have a favorite WCW poem?

    Nigel Roberts (1941-) is a lesser known Australian poet, published in John Tranter's 1979 New Australian Poets anthology, thus including him under the umbrella of the "Generation of '68" or "New Australian Poets". Roberts wrote, among other things, the wonderful collection of poems In Casablanca for the Waters, published in 1977 and Steps for Astaire in 1983. He was described by John Tranter in 1977 as "school-teacher, part-time football player, heavy smoker and poet". He would be about 69 years old now, I wonder what he is up to these days?

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William Carlos Williams and Nigel Roberts...

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