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About this Poem 

“The Fool’s Song” was published in The Tempers (Elkin Mathews, 1913). 

The Fool’s Song

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.
Sing merrily, Truth: I tried to put
                  Truth in a cage!

And when the bird was flown from the cage,
                  O fool that I am!
            Why, I had nor bird nor cage.
Sing merrily, Truth: I tried to put
                   Truth in a cage!
             Heigh-ho! Truth in a cage.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

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
They call me and I go. 
It is a frozen road 
past midnight, a dust 
of snow caught 
in the rigid wheeltracks. 
The door opens. 
I smile, enter and 
shake off the cold. 
Here is a great woman 
on her side in the bed. 
She is sick, 
perhaps vomiting, 
perhaps laboring 
to give birth to 
a tenth child. Joy! Joy!
poem

Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed
nose of mine! what will you not be smelling?
What tactless asses we are, you and I, boney nose,
always indiscriminate, always unashamed,
and now it is the souring flowers of the bedraggled
poplars: a festering pulp on the wet earth
beneath them.

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