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William Carlos Williams 1883-1963 was an American poet novelist and physician who wrote in distinctly American speech about everyday situations He began writing poetry while a student at Horace Mann High School at which time he made the decision to become both a writer and a doctor Williams combined his focus on the ordinary with attempts to connect his reader as closely as possible to the subjects of poems His poetic experiments had a strong literary influence and inspired such later American poets as Denise Levertov and Allen Ginsberg Born in Rutherford New Jersey Williams was educated at the universities of Pennsylvania and Leipzig After 1910 he practiced medicine in New Jersey in Rutherford and neighboring Paterson At the same time he continued his literary work and gained a worldwide reputation first as a poet and later as a writer of prose Williamss early verse includes Poems 1909 and The Tempers 1913 His mature work often varied in technique and form was influenced by the imagist movement in its rejection of expansive sentimentality artificiality and vagueness instead Williamss work relies on emotional restraint the language of common speech and a concentration on concrete sensory experience He experiments with many different styles including terza rima 3rd rhyme and free verse Examples of his later poetry are contained in Complete Collected Poems 1938 and Collected Poems 1950 In the late 1930s Williams began the composition of an extended poem dealing with the American scene in the period of the depression Paterson Books I-V 1946- 1958 His prose works include a widely read collection of essays on American history In the American
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