William Carlos Williams was an original and truly American voice and he was familiar with the works of Picasso, Gris, Picabia, Braque, and Cezanne. He strived to do in his poems what these artists were doing with their paintings and sculpture, to lift "to the imagination those things that lie under the direct scrutiny of the senses, close to the nose."
By using theories that originated from painting he isolated words to transform them into art objects. Marjorie Perloff a foremost critic of twentieth-century poetry relates:
- "Here was a man who had a kind of energy, sexual energy, that he didn't know quite how to channel. One of the main tensions that I see in Williams' work is between that sexual energy and desire and fear and safety......Williams' great taste for the new, almost the cult of the new some would say, is intimately bound up with his feeling about America as the New World and with his feeling that the poet's mission is to celebrate the New World and with his feeling about birth and with his being a pediatrician and bringing babies into the world so that he's always dealing with the new. When you are a pediatrician and you're constantly dealing with birth, it cannot be a coincidence that that's what Williams did professionally and that is what is so much the subject of his poetry."
Public domain text taken from The Poets' Corner