Books: A Poem of America

PATERSON, BOOK IV (55 pp.)—William Carlos Williams—New Directions ($3).

Since 1946, Poet and Pediatrician William Carlos Williams has been publishing parts of a long poem, Paterson. In between patients and the writing of an autobiography (to appear next fall), gingery Bill Williams, 67, has been letting his eye roam over the industrial area of northern New Jersey and has been thinking about the patterns and meanings of U.S. life. The result is Paterson, a scrapbook of daily life as Americans live it.

In its first three books, the poem had its narrator-hero, "Dr. Paterson," sketching vignettes of the city, mourning over the...

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