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About this Poem 

“The Desolate Field” was published in Sour Grapes: A Book of Poems (The Four Seas Company, 1921).   

The Desolate Field

Vast and gray, the sky
is a simulacrum
to all but him whose days
are vast and gray, and—
In the tall, dried grasses
a goat stirs
with nozzle searching the ground.
—my head is in the air
but who am I…?
And amazed my heart leaps
at the thought of love
vast and gray
yearning silently over me.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 5, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 5, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams

Poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright William Carlos Williams is often said to have been one of the principal poets of the Imagist movement.

by this poet

poem

I tried to put a bird in a cage.
                O fool that I am!
         For the bird was Truth.
Sing merrily, Truth: I tried to put
                 Truth in a cage!

And when I had the bird in the cage,
                 O fool that I am!
          Why, it broke my pretty cage

poem

What have I to say to you
When we shall meet?
Yet—
I lie here thinking of you.

The stain of love
Is upon the world.
Yellow, yellow, yellow,
It eats into the leaves,
Smears with saffron
The horned branches that lean
Heavily
Against a smooth purple
2
poem
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