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Poem (As the cat)

William Carlos Williams

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Added by: sara
bill bill must have been a very subtle man.
As the cat
Added by: Navi
Beautiful and very refreshing.

My friend moose - a 12 year old cat - loved it.

The Emperor's New Clothes
Added by: Paul Williams
What are you lot talking about? First of all, how the hell could your cat enjoy it? Reads does he? What guff! Secondly, what’s beautiful about it? I accept that the of language is marginally interesting and WCW has obviously observed a cat. I like the fact the poem isn’t a sentence – a moment in everyday reality has been captured. But isn’t it rather obvious?

How’s this?

As the man
lifted himself
above the
sullied bowl

reached with
right hand
for the paper
left hand
parted the

then the hand
trawled the
trough of
the dirty
Added by: Sameul Biagetti
Well, Paul, as lovely and engaging as your little variation is, there is a problem with your assertion. The Williams style of making small events unfold before our eyes through short, disjointed statmemnts (which I'm just now coming to appreciate) may be simple and easily imitable, but you would not have been able to imitate it at all if Williams hadn't invented it first. Anyone can transcribe "Hamlet" given a pen and some time, but that doesn't mean that Shakespeare was just a doophus and deserves no credit for writing the play in the first place.

Maybe you should try to start a completely new and verbally economical way of expressing yourself through poetry -- and see if that's as easy to do as just imitating what someone else has already set out for you.
what's a doophus?
Added by: Paul Williams
Which assertion are you referring to? That it’s rather simple and obvious? Firstly, my ‘objections’ were as much aimed at those who make ridiculous claims for feline literary sensitivity as they were at ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ quality of WCW’s poetry. What kind of argument for poetry is made by the School of Charm and Whimsy? These readers consider poetry to be something they cuddle up with at bedtime, a cup of Ovaltine in one hand and a teddy bear called Osric in the other.

Secondly, you imply that originality is valid purely by virtue of its being original. Well, I don’t know how seriously we should take any claims of originality in Shakespeare (or any one else) in the first place (“When we say ‘I love you’ we are quoting somebody else.” – Roland Barthes and “True Wit is Nature to advantage dress’d/ What oft was thought but ne’er so well express’d” – Alexander Pope). Yes, I can see that WCW has expressed himself in a ‘verbally economical’ way (though hardly ‘completely new’); my problem is that greatness seems to be bestowed on this particular poet. Life is too short to embrace every one and every thing, so we have to be discriminating. My filter mechanism will happily admit Mister Shakespeare, but not Mr WCW. I don’t see him as the literary equivalent of Tracy Emin or Sarah Lucas, but nor do I see him as figuratively in the same league as Rembrant.

Now I understand
Added by: Samuel Biagetti
Oh, yes, now I see, Mr Williams -- you aren't really criticizing WCW's poetry (which we can all agree has some strong points and originality), you're just bashing the way other people appreciate and enjoy it, as their "filters" work differently FROM yours. Sorry, my mistake.
Added by: Richmond
I just have to say the ovaltine line and the bit about the teddy bear named Osric was quite nice. I see your point about the simplicity of Williams, still some of his stuff carries real richness of moment. Makes me want some plums. But maybe they don't go well with my ovaltine...
Added by: Ogdred
I think it would be great if every single WCW poem that people appreciate on this website could get some extremely self-important and delightfully pithy person to write their own poem, just like his, except without his imagery or style. Bravo.
So, Mr. Paul Williams - I accept that your criticism is marginally clever, but isn't it rather obvious? Hmmm.
Added by: Mom
the third and fourth stanzas should be separated according to a book of poems for Children that it appears in. It's delightful -- my children love it and so do I -- it sounds like the way a cat moves.
Added by: Paul Williams
Im in a fighting mood tonight! First of all, Mr Bugatti, you imply that there is something elitist and undemocratic about cultivating discernment. Worse than that, you imply that this is bad. Of course I was bashing the rhinoceros hide insensitivity of others! Was I being too subtle? We cant have stupid people believing that their opinions are valid. What an appalling thought. Elite means the best, the most skilled. The fact that it has become a dirty word is indicative of how terrified we are of anything but mediocrity. Nevertheless, I assume that if you had to have major brain surgery, you would want it performed by the best surgeons available, by the medical elite. Or perhaps you would be happy for little Jason, armed only with his 25m breaststroke certificate and the best of intentions, should be allowed to have a go? Stupid comments deserve all the flak they get. That crap about the cat will help nobody reach a better appreciation of WCWs work.
As for Ogred did it ever occur to you that I was just amusing myself?

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