poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

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
The pure products of America
go crazy—
mountain folk from Kentucky

or the ribbed north end of 
Jersey
with its isolate lakes and

valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
and promiscuity between

devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure—

and young slatterns, bathed
in
2
poem
Wanderer moon
smiling a
faintly ironical smile
at this
brilliant, dew-moistened
summer morning,—
a detached
sleepily indifferent
smile, a
wanderer's smile,—
if I should
buy a shirt
your color and
put on a necktie
sky-blue
where would they carry me?
poem
Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
		like a buttercup
				upon its branching stem-
save that it's green and wooden-
		I come, my sweet,
				to sing to you.
We lived long together
		a life filled,
				if you will,
with flowers.  So that 
		I was cheered
				when I came first to know
that there were flowers also