Even the Best Poets Hate Themselves

by Regina Small

“This diffidence never left him: when he was preparing his last book for the press, Leibowitz writes, Williams grew so anguished that he ‘tore the manuscript to pieces and dumped them in the trash.’ His wife had to fish out the fragments and mail them to his publisher, James Laughlin of New Directions, ‘who put them together like a jigsaw puzzle.’
— Adam Kirsch reviews three new books about American poet William Carlos Williams.