If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,-
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
"I am lonely, lonely,
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,-
Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?
Copyright © 1962 by William Carlos Williams. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher.

Poems by This Author

A Love Song by William Carlos Williams
What have I to say to you
Approach of Winter by William Carlos Williams
The half-stripped trees
Asphodel, That Greeny Flower [excerpt] by William Carlos Williams
Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
Complaint by William Carlos Williams
They call me and I go
Complete Destruction by William Carlos Williams
It was an icy day
Details for Paterson by William Carlos Williams
I just saw two boys
For the Poem Paterson [1. Detail] by William Carlos Williams
Her milk don't seem to
For the Poem Paterson [3. St. Valentine] by William Carlos Williams
A woman's breasts
Gulls by William Carlos Williams
My townspeople, beyond in the great world
It Is a Small Plant by William Carlos Williams
It is a small plant
Landscape With The Fall of Icarus by William Carlos Williams
According to Brueghel
Marriage by William Carlos Williams
So different, this man
Peace on Earth by William Carlos Williams
The Archer is wake
Poem [Daniel Boone] by William Carlos Williams
Daniel Boone, the father of Kentucky
Poem [on getting a card] by William Carlos Williams
on getting a card
Queen-Anne's-Lace by William Carlos Williams
Her body is not so white as
Smell by William Carlos Williams
Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed
Spring and All [By the road to the contagious hospital] by William Carlos Williams
By the road to the contagious hospital
Spring and All, XIV by William Carlos Williams
Of death
Spring Storm by William Carlos Williams
The sky has given over
Summer Song by William Carlos Williams
Wanderer moon
The Descent by William Carlos Williams
The descent beckons
The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
Among the rain
The Hurricane by William Carlos Williams
The tree lay down
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
so much depends
The Uses of Poetry by William Carlos Williams
I've fond anticipation of a day
The Widow's Lament in Springtime by William Carlos Williams
Sorrow is my own yard
This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
To a Poor Old Woman by William Carlos Williams
munching a plum on
To Elsie by William Carlos Williams
The pure products of America
Tract by William Carlos Williams
I will teach you my townspeople
Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams
All the complicated details

Further Reading

Poems about the Body
A Hand
by Jane Hirshfield
After tagging the dust your body is made of
by Jen Tynes
by Monica Ferrell
by Matthew Schwartz
Brokeheart: Just like that
by Patrick Rosal
by Afaa M. Weaver
For the Man with the Erection Lasting More than Four Hours
by John Hodgen
Ghost in the Land of Skeletons
by Christopher Kennedy
Guessing My Death [excerpt]
by CAConrad
by Marilyn Hacker
homage to my hips
by Lucille Clifton
Human Atlas
by Marianne Boruch
I Sing the Body Electric
by Walt Whitman
In the Surgical Theatre
by Dana Levin
Love Letter to a Stranger
by Jenny Browne
Multiple Man: Guest-starring me & you
by Gary Jackson
My Skeleton
by Jane Hirshfield
Post-Dissertation-Intervention (i.)
by Ronaldo Wilson
Self-Portrait in a Wire Jacket
by Monica Youn
Slight Tremor
by Linda Gregerson
Textbook & Absence (Anatomy)
by Catherine Barnett
The Tongue
by Chris Martin
These Hands, If Not Gods
by Natalie Diaz
With Child
by Genevieve Taggard
Poems about Anonymity and Loneliness
"My True Love Hath My Heart and I Have His"
by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
by Joachim du Bellay
Don't Let Me Be Lonely [There was a time]
by Claudia Rankine
Acts of Mind
by Catherine Barnett
by Maya Angelou
Alone for a Week
by Jane Kenyon
Angel of Duluth [excerpt]
by Madelon Sprengnether
At a Window
by Carl Sandburg
Beyond the Pane
by Greg Hewett
by Aaron Smith
Dear Lonely Animal,
by Oni Buchanan
Demeter in Paris
by Meghan O'Rourke
Donal Óg
by Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory
Drawing from Life
by Reginald Shepherd
Eating Alone
by Li-Young Lee
Found Poem
by Howard Nemerov
by Philip Levine
How I Am
by Jason Shinder
How the mind works still to be sure
by Jennifer Denrow
How to See Deer
by Philip Booth
I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I Am!
by John Clare
I'm Nobody! Who are you? (260)
by Emily Dickinson
Isolation: To Marguerite
by Matthew Arnold
by Trumbull Stickney
by Trumbull Stickney
by Ernest Hemingway
Mountain Pines
by Robinson Jeffers
by Glyn Maxwell
Ode to Solitude
by Alexander Pope
On the Terrace
by Landis Everson
R.I.P., My Love
by Tory Dent
by Michael Ryan
Skunk Hour
by Robert Lowell
Song of Myself
by John Canaday
Song of Quietness
by Robinson Jeffers
Sonnet V
by Mahmoud Darwish
by Edith Franklin Wyatt
The Creation
by James Weldon Johnson
The Daffodils
by William Wordsworth
The Hermit Goes Up Attic
by Maxine Kumin
The Living Beauty
by W. B. Yeats
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T. S. Eliot
The Sleepers
by Walt Whitman
The Suicide
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
the suicide kid
by Charles Bukowski
The Whole World Is Gone
by Jennifer Grotz
This Is a Photograph of Me
by Margaret Atwood
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
by Sarah Gambito
by Kenneth Patchen
White Days
by Priscilla Becker
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
by Walt Whitman
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Your Catfish Friend
by Richard Brautigan