Happy Birthday to William Carlos Williams, Poet and Doctor

September 17, 1883 is the birthdate of William Carlos Williams, a renowned poet and medical doctor. Williams’ mother was a Sephardic (Spanish) Jew, and she was a tremendous inspiration for his work.  Williams was born in Rutherford, New York, and educated in Geneva, Switzerland and at the University of Pennsylvania.  Williams practiced as a pediatrician for over 40 years, and wrote his brilliant, evocative poetry in his spare time.  Williams memorialized his mother in his work, “I Wanted to Write a Poem”, about her ordeals as a woman and as an immigrant.  Williams’ powerful imagery and modernism in turn influenced a generation of American poets.  Please visit www.PoetryFoundation.org and download their wonderful app, which includes Williams’ poems.  (Photo by Lisa Larsen, Time & Life/ Getty Images)