Some moral meaning that is part of the basis of our identity

Wooster Street (What The Poets Of Our Time Seemed To Be Left With) ©MAIERMOUL
Wooster Street (What The Poets Of Our Time Seemed To Be Left With) ©MAIERMOUL

Poetry had become small. “It felt to me as though anything that was on a large emotional scale, anything truly passionate, absorbing, or crucial, had been forsaken by poetry,” he said. “What the poets of our time seemed to be left with were subtleties, hair-splittings, minute recordings of a delicate atmosphere.”

“For a long time I had been writing poetry that leaves everything out,” he told The New York Times in 2000. “It’s like a code. You say very little and send it out to people who know how to decode it. But I then realized that by writing longer lines and longer poems I could actually write the way I thought and the way I felt. I wanted to enter areas given over to prose writers, I wanted to talk about things the way a journalist can talk about things, but in poetry, not prose.”

“What I think poets tell themselves, either aloud or unconsciously, is that poetry is part of the moral resonance of the world,” he told “NewsHour” in 2003. “Poetry adds to that, that sense that human beings have that we have some moral meaning that is part of the basis of our identity, no matter what our acts are.”

C.K. Williams 1936 – 2015 -quoted in his obituary The New York Times