William Carlos Williams‘ birthday today, September 17. Let’s see, he would be.. had he survived his strokes (and discovered some sort of mystery longevity drug!) – yes, 129! – Allen reading from Spring and All we have already posted – That may be accessed here – Those of you who follow this blog will know also that we are deep into the heart of a transcription of Allen’s 1975 Naropa lectures on Williams – Mind, Mouth and Page. (Here, for example, is Allen’s memorable observations on those plums!) – For a celebration today, we thought we’d draw your attention to this (audio only) – a WABD television interview, with a frail but still feisty Doc Williams a few days shy of his 78th birthday, (courtesy the invaluable PennSound).
He speaks on practicing medicine and writing poetry, on the Greenwich Village poets and separating from the crowd, on Pound, Sandburg, and Frost, on his links to alleged Communist causes and letting people speak, on television, on Madison Ave, on Stevenson, Eisenhower and Kennedy (anticipating the 1960 election), on the place of religion in his life, and, on “what he would like to be remembered for”.
The whole interview (with the polished John Wingate) runs for a little under 30 minutes (permitting time, one presumes, for the commercials). Happy 129th Birthday, Bill!
Listen to this vintage interview in its entirety here