One thing I am convinced more and more is true, and that is this: The only way to be truly happy is to make others happy. When you realize that and take advantage of the fact, everything is made perfect.

— William Carlos Williams

The most unpopular William Carlos Williams quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Sometimes I find myself thinking, rather wistfully, about Lao Tzu's famous dictum: 'Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish.' All around me I see something very different, let us say - a number of angry dwarfs trying to grill a whale.

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The beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

71

As birds' wings beat the solid air without which none could fly so words freed by the imagination affirm reality by their flight.

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There is nothing beginning nor end to the imagination but it delights in its own seasons reversing the usual order at will.

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It is not fair to be old, to put on a brown sweater.

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My first poem was a bolt from the blue … it broke a spell of disillusion and suicidal despondence. ... it filled me with soul satisfying joy.

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Somewhere the sense makes copper roses steel roses — The rose carried weight of love but love is at an end — of roses It is at the edge of the petal that love waits.

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In summer, the song sings itself.

44

The poem springs from the half spoken words of the patient.

... When asked, how I have for so many years continued an equal interest in medicine and the poem, I reply that they amount for me to nearly the same thing.

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so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.

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[History is] a tyranny over the souls of the dead - and so the imagination of the living.

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But all art is sensual and poetry particularly so.

It is directly, that is, of the senses, and since the senses do not exist without an object for their employment all art is necessarily objective. It doesn't declaim or explain, it presents.

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About William Carlos Williams

Quotes 154 sayings
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16

Your thighs are appletrees whose blossoms touch the sky. Your knees are a southern breeze.

14

What power has love but forgiveness? In other words by its intervention what has been done can be undone. What good is it otherwise?

13

The better work men do is always done under stress and at great personal cost.

12

A profusion of pink roses being ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.

11

Empty pockets make empty heads.

11

It's the anarchy of poverty delights me, the old yellow wooden house indented among the new brick tenements

10

What power has love but forgiveness?

9

My surface is myself. Under which to witness, youth is buried. Roots? Everybody has roots.

8

All women are not Helen, I know that, but have Helen in their hearts.

7

Poets are being pursued by the philosophers today, out of the poverty of philosophy. God damn it, you might think a man had no business to be writing, to be a poet unless some philosophic stinker gave him permission.

6

No opinion can be trusted; even the facts may be nothing but a printer's error.

6

I think of the poetry of René Char and all he must have seen and suffered that has brought him to speak only of sedgy rivers, of daffodils and tulips whose roots they water, even to the free-flowing river that laves the rootlets of those sweet-scented flowers that people the milky way

6

I thought my friends were damn fools, because they didn't know any better way of conducting their lives. Still they conformed better than I to a code. I wanted to conform but I couldn't so I wrote my poetry.

6

Imagination though it cannot wipe out the sting of remorse can instruct the mind in its proper uses.

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It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.

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Unless there is a new mind there cannot be a new line, the old will go on repeating itself with recurring deadliness

5

History, history! We fools, what do we know or care.

5

beauty’ is related not to ‘loveliness’ but to a state in which reality plays a part.

4

A poem is this:/A nuance of sound/delicately operating/upon a cataract of sense/...the particulars/of a song waking/upon a bed of sound.

4

By listening to his language of his locality the poet begins to learn his craft.

It is his function to lift, by use of imagination and the language he hears, the material conditions and appearances of his environment to the sphere of the intelligence where they will have new currency.

4

Old age is a flight of small cheeping birds skimming bare trees above a snow glaze.

4

The American idiom has much to offer us that the English language has never heard of

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The only human value of anything, writing included, is intense vision of the facts.

4

Dissonance / (if you are interested) / leads to discovery.

4

Being an art form, verse cannot be "free" in the sense of having no limitations or guiding principle.

3

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter.

3

When I am alone I am happy.

3

Say it, no ideas but in things - nothing but the blank faces of the houses and cylindrical trees bent, forked by preconception and accident - split, furrowed, creased, mottled, stained - secret - into the body of the light!

3

For what we cannot accomplish, what is denied to love, what we have lost in the anticipation a descent follows, endless and indestructible.

3

The War is the first and only thing in the world today.

The arts generally are not, nor is this writing a diversion from that for relief, a turning away. It is the war or part of it, merely a different sector of the field.

3

We are blind and live our blind lives out in blindness.

3

Afraid lest he be caught up in a net of words, tripped up, bewildered and so defeated-thrown aside-a man hesitates to write down his innermost convictions.

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Everyone in this life is defeated but a man, if he be a man, is not defeated.

3

For the beginning is assuredly the end- since we know nothing, pure and simple, beyond our own complexities.

3

I pick the hair from her eyes and watch her misery with compassion.

3

Afraid lest he be caught up in a net of words, tripped up, bewildered and so defeated

2

Their story, yours and mine -- it

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