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A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams txt A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, text ebook A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, adobe reader A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, chapter 2 A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams 8f374e When He Wrote Poems, He Felt As Free As The Passaic River As It Rushed To The Falls Willie S Notebooks Filled Up, One After Another Willie S Words Gave Him Freedom And Peace, But He Also Knew He Needed To Earn A Living So He Went Off To Medical School And Became A Doctor One Of The Busiest Men In Town Yet He Never Stopped Writing Poetry In This Picture Book Biography Of William Carlos Williams, Jen Bryant S Engaging Prose And Melissa Sweet S Stunning Mixed Media Illustrations Celebrate The Amazing Man Who Found A Way To Earn A Living And To Honor His Calling To Be A Poet


About the Author: Jen Bryant

Jen Bryant Jennifer Fisher Bryant writes picture books, novels and poems for readers of all ages Her biographical picture book A River of Words The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet,received a Caldecott Honor award and her historical novel in verse RINGSIDE 1925 Views from the Scopes Trial is an Oprah Recommended Book for ages 12 up Other titles include



10 thoughts on “A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams

  1. says:

    I appreciate this book alot, but I think it is geared to a patient and older audience For kids, this book is slow and long on information I think the artwork is fun with a collage feel to it It looks like a poem in pictures I also didn t know anything about William Carlos Williams He was an American poet from the first part of the 20th century He was a doctor and poet in his free time He wrote many collections in his lifetime and is considered a big influence in American poetry He loved nature and those rhythms are in the poems he wrote I m glad I got to know this story The nephew thought this book was totally boring Nothing happened in his mind He s a doctor and writes poetry, done He gave this 1 star He didn t like it The niece thought this book was only a little interesting It seemed long to her and slow She gave this 2 stars, but she still isn t interested in poetry.


  2. says:

    I was introduced to William Carlos Williams poetry in my twenties by a teacher Though the course did not cover Williams work, I became fond of the man s style and use of simple, everyday subjects.I haven t thought of William Carlos Williams for years, but my recent reading of Lady Cop Makes Trouble reminded me of the poet the afterword identifies the doctor Constance meets during her investigation as this poet.This children s book, which covers Williams life, is simple, and beautifully illustrated There are some examples of William Carlos Williams poetry on the insides covers of the hardcover edition, while a series of collages and the story of the poet s life grace each page.This will probably sound silly, but I felt happy after reading this book.


  3. says:

    Oh, how I absolutelylove this bookadore itfor its simple informative textadmire itfor the collage andwater color illustrationsshowing the timethe world andthe spirit of the poetwho was a doctorwho healed woundsdelivered babiesand soothedour souls


  4. says:

    I saw Melissa Sweet s original collages for this book at a Caldecott exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago What a pleasure it was to revisit her work again in context Jen Bryant s biography of poet William Carlos Williams will interest young readers in Williams work The only flaw in this book is that it did not include enough poems


  5. says:

    I always feel a little bit inadequate when I review a book of poetry or a book about a poet, even if it s for kids I feel like I m encroaching on someone else s territory or something Like I m some kind of verse based interloper trespassing where I am ignorant And the feeling only gets worse when I m dealing with a person with whom I am not truly familiar Fortunately, if I ever needed a book to give me the skinny on a poet in terms even an eight year old could appreciate, A River of Words The Story of William Carlos Williams fits the bill I m not ashamed to admit that I didn t know even the smallest smidgen of a fact surrounding Mr Williams before I started this book well maybe I m a little ashamed But this book has melded text and image alongside fact and narrative so seamlessly, you ll walk around for days wondering why picture book bios aren t written about the great poets of the past There is no good answer to this question.What makes one poet s life any noteworthy than another s Sometimes it is found in the very ordinariness of their life William Carlos Williams, Willie to his friends, was an inquisitive boy with an ear for poetry, both in nature and in the words of the great linguists of the past He wrote poems in his spare time, honing his craft, but when practical matters were at hand he trained as a doctor and set up a practice in Rutherford, New Jersey Over the years he would continue to work on his poems, shaping them when he was able An extensive Timeline and Author s Note at the end go on to explain how William finally was recognized as a great poet in his sixties An Illustrator s Note explains how Melissa Sweet found a way to illustrate the book A small bibliography is included for further reading with websites and a suggested video and nine poems three excerpted are visible on the endpapers for closer examination, though they appear throughout the book in one form or another.I was talking with someone the other day about the essential puzzle of the picture book biography Throwing aside the concerns about the millions of subjects out there who have led less than entirely child friendly lives for example I suspect you won t be seeing the picture book bio of Robert Evans anytime soon , there s also the puzzle of what to tell and how much When you ve only 32 pages with which to work, how do you cull a life into its most essential moments Now add to all of this the problems that come with artists You couldn t write a bio of Andy Warhol without looking at his paintings, could you You couldn t mention Michelangelo without getting in a shot of David, right But do you include ALL their famous works, or just a sample And if it s just a sample, does that really and truly reflect who the artist is If we re a sum of our parts, why on earth would you pick and choose amongst them Now in the case of William Carlos Williams, Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet had an advantage He was a poet Then the poetry must be everywhere It should inform every image, appear in the details and borders of the pages And then, if you want the book to also be practical, you can put a selection of the man s greatest or best known poems on the endpapers for easy access Do it wrong and you ve got yourself a noxious muddle Do it right and you ve a delicate balance between fact and art And Bryant and Sweet are definitely in the latter category.Bryant s decision here was to tell only as much of William s life as would fit within her story The focus isn t on related rote facts about a great man though there are plenty of those at the end of the book if needed but to show the process through which a person becomes a poet The story embodies the idea of living and breathing your art, even when you have other practical day to day considerations to attend to It s not a very romantic notion, that of a man holding down a steady job AND writing poems on the sly, but it is a rather inspiring one It suggests that no matter how ordinary a life is it can be made extraordinary by its subject s appreciation of that ordinariness Williams wrote poems about plums and chickens and wheelbarrows for a reason, and Bryant has perfectly hit upon why that is and how he found a way to make each poem, find its own special shape on the page In her Illustrator s Note Melissa Sweet writes, Every project furthers an artist, but this book was a true gift She is implying that the gift was to her, but I d quibble with that and say it was instead a gift to us I look at another of Sweet s 2008 publications, Tupelo Rides the Rails and while it s a touching tale, the art is certainly different from Bryant s tale In A River of Words Sweet goes wild She illustrates book covers and ephemera, report cards and title pages Words are handwritten on scraps of paper, or stuck together like exalted ransom notes They gleam gold or burn blue, and the images of Williams are fit in so that instead of being lost in the whirl of words, they stand out and grab your eye In a sense this book reminded me of The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter but with a softer, practical edge Words really are everywhere in this art They re embedded in bowls of plums and writ large within the roofs of homes Visually, the book pairs rather well with another small publisher title from 2008, The Storyteller s Candle by Lucia Gonzalez I sometimes feel that mixed media is becoming and popular with artists in this age of computers, technology and smooth shiny gadgets And certainly cut magazines and newspapers are cropping up in everything from Carin Berger s, The Little Yellow Leaf to this, Sweet s latest.I do not think that it is a stretch to say that a lot of kids get their first introduction to William Carlos Williams through Sharon Creech s Love That Dog I do not think that it is a stretch to say that a lot of parents, teachers, and librarians probably ALSO discover Mr Williams that way though most would be loathe to admit it So perhaps a unit on poetry or an assignment in conjunction with Poetry Month would pair beautifully with Bryant and Sweet s newest book Picture book biographies of poets can be tricky, difficult things They demand an artistic sensibility entirely of their own making Both Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet have found their own ways of dealing with the challenges that come with such a book as this And these solutions when brought together make for a visual and audible stunner Kudos to everyone involved Kudos all around Ages 7 and up.


  6. says:

    Second read, actually Does a great job of making William s work, and his creative drive, understandable to both children and newbies I love enough poetry that I am making a habit of reading books like this in order to teach myself , but since I m no expert, I less often read collections aimed at adults Why don t of us do that, instead of just passing over the entire genre like my husband does maybe now that he s retiring I ll turn him onto some bits.


  7. says:

    This book is intended for grades 3 6 A River of Words The Story of William Carlos Williams provides the conflicted occupational history of William Carlos Williams and his eventual decision to become a poet It was a Caldecott Honor Book in 2009 Selected poems by Williams are on the endpapers of this book, set against a green background with linked squares Thus, his poems serve as an entrance to his life What is most wonderful about this book is the integration of text and illustration I feel that the integration was successful because the illustrator took a great deal of time researching Williams s life at the Rutherford Public Library She was able to see photographs, letters and items he used in everyday life, so that when she illustrated this book, she had a vision of the type of art that would embody his life story The artwork is modern layered colored and graph paper, painted, unfurled, covers of books, pages torn from biology books and atlases, water colored newsprint And every page has a broken in, antique, yellowed, scrapbook from another era feel Each spread contains one illustration that continues the story of Williams life, while the other combines the text of a poem by Williams and an illustration to accompany his words Sometimes his words are painted, other times produced on a typewriter, or hand written In some cases the words are the art, which is perfect for a poetry book This book is worth reading for the illustrations alone not to mention the skilled simplicity of Williams s work.In regard to Caldecott Award Criteria, this text is a satisfying whole There is excellence in pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept Melissa Sweet simultaneously illustrates the story of Williams life and his poems thus, she adds visual representation to all of the words on the page The painting and collage she creates demonstrate excellence in execution of the artistic technique employed Also, because Williams was creatively inspired by simplistic things, it makes sense that Sweet uses books, graph paper etc to illustrate his life and work the style is appropriate to the story theme or concept The plot and characterization, as mentioned previously, are advanced through the images Because the prose and poetry is simplistic, I feel it is accessible to a child audience However, younger students may need help interpreting the poetry But Sweet s illustrations are sure to aid their understanding.


  8. says:

    Oh how I LOVE this book One time, when my next younger sister was also my roomate along with eight other girls while we were undergrads, she left me a WCW poem in the freezer in place of the icecream sandwich I had been hoarding.This is Just to SayI have eatenthe plumsthat were inthe iceboxand whichyou were probablysavingfor breakfastForgive methey were deliciousso sweetand so coldThe illustrator who was awarded a Caldecott Honor for this work incorporated several of his poems throughout her illustrations Jen Bryant s sparse but spot on text is lyracle and inviting.


  9. says:

    Melissa Sweet resisted the temptation to provide a representational interpretation of Williams poems, instead purposefully taking a modern art abstract approach I appreciated this While we do get to see a picture of a red wheelbarrow, for example, we do not have the illustrator telling us why so much depended on it The images in Williams poem are supposed to be evocative without being symbolic, and the verbs and adjectives are often where the poetry happens around these evocative everyday nouns The collage using old books and ephemera was a good choice, although I have maybe seen a bit too much of this in the past ten years As with many of the biographies I have just read, this one is less about myth making for the great figures, and about helping us get to know people important in history but who we may not have known much about I m glad the picturebook market is at this point Writers who want a biography project are likely to think There are too many out there about Abraham Lincoln already Jen Bryant s work was informative, but leaves me wanting Just about right for a picture book, because there are other biographies out there And the images for this book do a lot of the work of letting us have an art experience while the biography is laid out The timeline was also sparely filled in, and offered a nice touch with the synoptic points of reference I would probably only read this with kids after some of them had dug into Williams work otherwise, why


  10. says:

    As an English major I had read William Carlos Williams s The Red Wheelbarrow, but it wasn t until I read this book that I understood why his work was so important I loved reading it and looking at Melissa Sweet s illustrations she is my new favorite illustrator, a spot held for many years by David Catrow s whose style could not be different This book also introduced me to new poem I might have to share with my students, This Is Just to Say.


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