Read his poem "The Red Wheelbarrow"
Career: Poet, playwright, novelist, critic, prose writer, autobiographer, and physician
Williams was born September 17, 1883 in Rutherford, New Jersey, to middle-class parents who were lovers of literature and visual art. But Williams showed little interest in art until he attended the University of Pennsylvania's medical school. It was there that he became enamored with poetry and was for some time torn between his parents' wishes that he become a doctor and his own, less conventional aspirations. While in Pennsylvania, Williams befriended the poet Ezra Pound, a relationship that he later termed a watershed in his literary career. Pound not only helped Williams develop his aesthetic of magism — a poetic approach that emphasized the concrete over abstractions — but also introduced him to a literary circle that included the flamboyant poet Hilda Doolittle (H. D.). By the time Williams completed his studies, he was committed to his writing; yet he still pursued a medical career and maintained a private practice in Rutherford for over forty years. From his medical practice Williams gained not only the financial freedom to write what he wished, but also a rare and intimate insight into the lives of common people.
Williams's immersion in and attachment to the lives of Rutherford's townsfolk was mirrored in the aesthetic principles he developed over the years. He consistently advocated and wrote literature that took its themes from ordinary life and its voice from the patterns of common speech. During much of his poetic career, however, these values ran counter to those of the critically acclaimed poetry of the day — namely, the classicist, academic, and formal poetry exemplified by T. S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens. During the 1920s and 1930s Williams labored largely in obscurity; with the publication of the first Paterson volumes in the 1940s, however, he gained wider recognition, and the emerging Beat Movement poets of the 1950s venerated him for his rejection of formalism. Shortly after receiving a Pulitzer Prize, Williams died on March 4, 1963.
Source: Exploring Poetry Gale.