Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed
nose of mine! what will you not be smelling?
What tactless asses we are, you and I, boney nose,
always indiscriminate, always unashamed,
and now it is the souring flowers of the bedreggled
poplars: a festering pulp on the wet earth
beneath them. With what deep thirst
we quicken our desires
to that rank odor of a passing springtime!
Can you not be decent? Can you not reserve your ardors
for something less unlovely? What girl will care
for us, do you think, if we continue in these ways?
Must you taste everything? Must you know everything?
Must you have a part in everything?
William Carlos Williams
Just got these Forever stamps at my local branch! Williams was a Peditrician and GP, as well as an accomplished poet and writer. He is known for mentoring many of the poets who went on to great acclaim, including Denise Levertov (pictured above) and Allen Ginsberg. I love his simplicity and passion. He believed in going “local” for material instead of using lofty, literary, and classical, allusions, and in this way was ahead of his time. “He advocated that poets leave aside traditional poetic forms…and try to see the world as it is. Marianne Moore, another skeptic of traditional poetic forms, wrote Williams had used “plain American which cats and dogs can read,” with distinctly American idioms.”