Summer 1952 • Vol. XIV No. 3 William Carlos Williams: Two AppreciationsJuly 1, 1952 |

The Doctor in Search of Himself

There is no quackery about Dr. Williams, either as physician or poet. His Autobiography is unpretentious and forthright to the point of being maladroit. Dr. Williams has the gift of gaucherie. He portrays himself struggling through the world of life and letters, typewriter in one hand and stethoscope in the other, delivering poems dexterously between triplets. Writing at the age of sixty-eight, he has no intention of playing the patriarch like Frost or the pariah like Pound; instead he is ingenuous and engaging. Poetry has not interfered with his medical practice, but has helped to justify it. For Dr. Williams finds that treating patients as patients is ultimately uninteresting‍—he has a refreshing skepticism about cures—but that treating them as subjects for a work of art is not. His experiences as a doctor have provided much of the raw material for his writing, and his Autobiography gives a fascinating account of some of them. The book deals chiefly with his patient

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