Episode #123 By the Road to the Contagious Hospital - William Carlos Williams by Close Talking: A Poetry Podcast published on 2021-04-10T15:50:30Z Connor and Jack discuss the newly resonant poem "[By the road to the contagious hospital]" by the great William Carlos Williams, which is the first poem in Williams' iconic Spring and All. They explore the now-emergent "pandemic in spring" sub-genre, which this poem is surely canon. They also talk about the poem's modernist context, its grounded attention to detail and nature, and its striking first line. [By the road to the contagious hospital] By: William Carlos Williams By the road to the contagious hospital under the surge of the blue mottled clouds driven from the northeast-a cold wind. Beyond, the waste of broad, muddy fields brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen patches of standing water the scattering of tall trees All along the road the reddish purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy stuff of bushes and small trees with dead, brown leaves under them leafless vines— Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches— They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. All about them the cold, familiar wind— Now the grass, tomorrow the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf One by one objects are defined— It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf But now the stark dignity of entrance—Still, the profound change has come upon them: rooted, they grip down and begin to awaken Find us at our website: www.closetalking.com/ Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry You can always send us an e-mail with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at firstname.lastname@example.org.