William Carlos Williams on value of poetry

Idiom of the Hero by Wallace Stevens

I heard two workers say, “This chaos Will soon be ended.” This chaos will not be ended, The red and the blue house blended, Not ended, never and never ended, The weak man mended, The man that is poor at night Attended Like the man that is rich and right. The great men will not be blended… I am the poorest of all. I know that I can not be mended, Out of the clouds, pomp of the air, By which at least I am befriended.

Speed by Carl Sandburg, a poem

The silent litany of the workmen goes on – Speed, speed, we are the makers of speed. We make the flying, crying motors, Clutches, brakes, and axles, Gears, ignitions, accelerators, Spokes and springs and shock absorbers. The silent litany of the workmen goes on – Speed, speed, we are the makers of speed; Axles, clutches, levers, shovels, We make signals and lay the way – Speed, speed. The trees come down to our tools, We carve the wood to the wanted shape.

Reminiscing Around the Thermometer

Yesterday was a cold day here in Minnesota. The radio, as I drove to work, was full of stories about living with the cold and hourly updates on the descent of the thermometer. Minnesotans have a well-deserved fascination with the weather. The extremes of summer and winter hit us much harder than the rest of the nation, than most of the rest of the world. Such is the beauty of living in the middle of a continent.