Tuesday, September 1, 2020

WCW to a young poet

William Carlos Williams:

Of your poems: You should be glad that people (the magazines) do not accept them (at your age); it is the first sign of worth — even of coming greatness (such as you imagine). Suppose they were accepted at once! what would that mean other than that they already exist in another? That would and should shock you and make you stop writing forever.
From a letter to Srinivas Rayaprol, March 29, 1950, in The Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams, ed. John C. Thirlwall (New York: New Directions, 1957).

Related reading
All OCA WCW posts (Pinboard) : Alice James on Emily Dickinson (Disapproval as a good thing)

[Srinivas Rayaprol, then twenty-four, went on to a distinguished life in poetry.]

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