Fall 1954 • Vol. XVI No. 4 Book ReviewsOctober 1, 1954 |

“What’s Past Is Prologue”

The Desert Music by William Carlos Williams. Random House. $3.00. Like Eliot in The Cocktail Party giving us a re-enactment, in dramatic terms, of all the successive roles of his developing self, so Dr. Williams now reveals to us, in the terms of lyric poetry, "the stages of his age and youth/ entering the whirlpool." This is the autobiography we have needed as over against that other autobiography of the outer man which Dr. Williams furnished a while ago. Here is the candid and even terrifying image of a man facing himself after a long journey to ask himself where the journey has led, and whether there has, in fact, been direction to it at all. To raise such questions and to devise answers for them has, in view of Dr. Williams' recent ill health, more than a little air of heroism. But to form answers of such singular warmth, of such tender and unequivocal beauty, is a miracle indeed, a miracle of resourcefulness and vitality which we can only attribute to the rich unpredictabil

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The Desert Music by William Carlos Williams. Random House. $3.00. Like Eliot in The Cocktail Party giving us a re-enactment, in dramatic terms, of all the successive roles of his […]

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The Desert Music by William Carlos Williams. Random House. $3.00. Like Eliot in The Cocktail Party giving us a re-enactment, in dramatic terms, of all the successive roles of his […]

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