Al Que Quiere!
The centennial edition of William Carlos Williams’s early ground-breaking volume, containing some of his best-loved poems
Published in 1917 by The Four Seas Press, Al Que Quiere! was William Carlos Williams’s breakthrough book and contains some of his best-loved poems (“Tract,” “Apology,” “El Hombre,” “Danse Russe,” “January Morning,” and “Smell!”), as well as a Whitmanesque concluding long poem, “The Wanderer,” that anticipates his epic masterpiece Paterson. Al Que Quiere! is the culmination of an experimental period for Williams that included his translations from Spanish. The Spanish epigraph of Al Que Quiere! is from the short story “El hombre que parecía un caballo” (“The Man Who Resembled a Horse”), by the Guatemalan author Rafael Arévalo Martínez. This centennial edition contains Williams’s translation of the story, as well as his commentary from a book of conversations, I Wanted to Write a Poem, on the individual poems of Al Que Quiere!
“For all his roughness there remains with me the conviction that there is nothing meaningless in his book, Al Que Quiere!, not a line.”
— Ezra Pound
“It seems clear that Williams is the twentieth-century poet who has done most
to influence our very conception of what poetry should do, and how much it
does not need to do.” — The New York Review of Books
“It is ever more apparent that Williams is this century’s major American poet.” — The Chicago Tribune