Portrait of a Lady

Portrait of a Lady

Your thighs are appletrees
whose blossoms touch the sky.
Which sky? The sky
where Watteau hung a lady’s
slipper. Your knees
are a southern breeze — or
a gust of snow. Agh! what
sort of man was Fragonard?
— As if that answered
anything. — Ah, yes. Below
the knees, since the tune
drops that way, it is
one of those white summer days,
the tall grass of your ankles
flickers upon the shore —
Which shore? —
the sand clings to my lips —
Which shore?
Agh, petals maybe. How
should I know?
Which shore? Which shore?
— the petals from some hidden
appletree— Which shore?
I said petals from an appletree.

— William Carlos Williams, from The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, Vol. 1: 1909 – 1939

T. S. Poetry

Considered by many to be the most characteristically American of our twentieth-century poets, William Carlos Williams “wanted to write a poem / that you would understand / ,,,But you got to try hard—.”
So that readers could more fully understand the extent of Williams’ radical simplicity, all of his published poetry, excluding Paterson, was reissued in two definite volumes, of which this is the first.

Kindle

Paperback

Hardcover

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