POETS Day! William Carlos Williams

The poet Riposte of the American poet William Carlos Williams on a wall of the building at Breestraat 81, Leiden, The Netherlands, currently hardly visible because of its bad condition. Photo by Tubantia, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

[This entry is cross posted at ordinary-times.com]

I was in the shed pulling out all my POETS Day yard decorations in anticipation and I couldn’t help think but what a gosh darn special thing we got going here. I mean, golly. I know how much people hate those last few hours of work before the weekend because they make us the worst us we can be. There we are focusing on the crummy negative of being stuck in the ole grist mill when we should be pleased as punch that Henry Ford thought about us, the little guys, and invented the weekend so we can goof around with the fellas and have a few pops, go for a stroll in the park with our best girl (or guy,) or maybe take in a picture. I don’t want to be called a Holiday Harry, but that day is here again so I’ll say it: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. Staying at work doesn’t do anybody any good. Show your boss how productive you’ve been this week and promise to work even harder next week. Bosses aren’t such a bad sort. Then you can walk out a few hours before the usual time, free as a bird. Maybe send him (or her) a picture of all the fun you’re having instead of sitting around the office like a gloomy Gus. If you’re up for advice I’d spend some of my bonus time in thanks to that swell holiday acronym and read some verse. You’ll be glad for it!


Loudon Wainwright III has a great song called TSMNWA (They Spelled My Name Wrong Again) where he sings about the frustrations of having a weird name. I can’t help hearing his voice whenever I read about or meet someone who goes by something unusual even if it’s just mildly odd: “My parents should shoulder some blame/For calling their kid a strange name.” I’m sure that William Carlos Williams wanted to have a discussion with mom and dad. “You named me William Williams?” he would ask, not without cause, though I’ve read his parents brought him up in a rigid atmosphere so maybe he passed on demanding an explanation and settled in to a lifetime of long signatures. Considering some of the anachronistic tongue-stumbler family surnames that wind up some unsuspecting kids’ middle names, that “Carlos” to break things up must have seemed a godsend.

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