“A man is indeed a city, and for the poet there are no ideas but in things": Scarce Complete first edition set of William Carlos Williams' Masterpiece Paterson; each volume in the rare original dust jacket


WILLIAMS, William Carlos.


Item Number: 109863

New York: New Directions, 1946-1958.

Scarce complete first edition set of William Carlos Williams’ masterpiece including Book III, winner of the first National Book Award for Poetry. Octavo, five volumes, Books I-IV limited to 1,000 copies. In the Author’s Note to Book I, Williams describes the work as “a long poem in four parts”, yet a fifth volume was published seven years after the publication of Book IV and only five years before Williams’ death without a limitation statement. Each volume is near fine to fine in a near fine to fine dust jacket. Jacket drawing of William Carlos Williams to Book V by his brother, Edgar J. Williams.

“Paterson is Whitman’s America grown pathetic and tragic, brutalized by inequality, disorganized by industrial chaos, and faced with annihilation. No poet has written of it with such a combination of brilliance, sympathy and experience, with such alertness and energy" (Lowell, 78) “One of the great forces in 20th-century American verse… Williams’ work is more expressive of American sensibility, and more saturated with American speech and its rhythms, than any poet’s since Whitman… He has entered the bloodstream of American poetry” (Hamilton, 584).

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