Poets Walk: "of asphodel"

Poets Walk: "of asphodel"

Location on Poets Walk Map: Band J


Of Asphodel by William Carlos Williams


Of asphodel, that greeny flower,

                    I come, my sweet,

                                        to sing to you!

My heart rouses

                    thinking to bring you news

                                        of something

that concerns you

                    and concerns many men. Look at

                                        what passes for the new.

You will not find it there but in

                    despised poems.

                                        It is difficult

to get the news from poems

                    yet men die miserably every day

                                        for lack

of what is found there.

                    Hear me out

                                        for I too am concerned

and every man

                    who wants to die at peace in his bed

                                        besides.


For the recording: This recording was originally compiled and published from Keele University, England, by Dr. Richard Swigg in 1992 and 1993. PennSound gratefully acknowledges the scholarship and editing of Dr. Swigg in making this Williams sound archive available. The recording of "Of Asphodel" was made from a reading at William's home in Rutherford, NJ on June 6, 1954. These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. © 2006 by the estates of William Eric Williams and Paul H. Williams. Used by permission of the heirs of William Carlos Williams and New Directions Publishing Corp., agent for the heirs. Distributed by PennSound. For more recordings of William Carlos Williams, see http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Williams-WC.php.