Canaday Center


Quick Links


the ward m. canaday center for special collections

Contact Us

Main Campus
Carlson Library 5th Floor

Phone:  419.530.4480

William Carlos Willams, 1883-1963



The Tempers (1913)

PS3545.I544 T4 1913a     

This book is a limited edition printing from London, his second collection of poems. Ezra Pound, a foremost figure of Modernist poetry, arranged for its publication, making himself a champion of Williams’ poetry.





The Wedge (1944)

PS3545.I544 W4        

The poems collected in The Wedge appeared in several other literary magazines. Of this particular collection, only 380 copies were printed. The first poem, “A Sort of Song,” contains Williams’ famous aphorism on poetry: “no ideas but in things.” As is common in his work, Williams uses casual, everyday language in these poems. He insisted that it was important to write using idiomatic American speech. This was a new concept at the time, but this tenet eventually became a defining characteristic of Modernism.

These short excerpts from Williams' introduction to this book introduce part of his philosophy on poetry:

"A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words. When I say there’s nothing sentimental about a poem I mean that there can be no part, as in any other machine, that is redundant."

"each speech having its own character the poetry it engenders will be peculiar to that speech also in its own intrinsic form"



Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems (1962)

PS3545.I544 P458 1962        

In many of the poems in this book, Williams discusses the relationship between people and nature. This book is signed by the writer and is a first edition copy. Interestingly, one poem is entitled “The High Bridge above the Tagus River at Toledo,” but here Williams is referring to Toledo, Spain.




 Flowers of August (1983)

PS3545.I544 F55 1983        

There are only 260 copies of this book which, sets some of Williams’ poems alongside the drawings of Keith Achepohl. This edition is the first one which reprints the original sequence that Williams intended for this book. Notice the flower shape that is set onto the cover.





William Carlos Williams Biography and Resources

Last Updated: 6/9/16