One thing young Mayhew did was to go the rare book room and look at the original periodical publication of a William Carlos Williams poem, and use the earlier version as a point of comparison with the poem as it appears in Collected Early Poems. I don't know how I knew to do this, or how I found the poem, etc... There was no internet 40 years ago. If you put me back in 1981 I wouldn't know how to find this poem in The Dial.
The version I found of my paper must not be the one I turned in, because I remember making other points that are not in this one, and there are some handwritten corrections. I still think my points are valid ones, but of course I would do it a bit differently now. My analysis gets too thick at times. Overall, I think I make some points very effectively, but I don't draw out the larger implications very well. You might say "so what."
I begin by saying that Williams's poetry is difficult for critics to write about because it is easy to understand. There is nothing for the critic to do. Unlike, say, Stevens, Pound, Eliot. So I show there is something interesting to do to this poem.
Mais c'est bien!
OT I had a dream. I was at the university and we were doing two kinds of paperwork: 1/ to get permission from the oil companies to teach our classes; 2/ to pass public writing off as refereed.
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