William Carlos Williams writes a short note of praise to his fellow Imagist poet Amy Lowell for her poem “Appuldurcombe Park.”
August 7, 1918
Dear Amy Lowell: “Appuldurcombe Park” is a fine piece of work. Accept my praise. Lines 18 to 30 are full of your best touches—a luxuriant perfection of mood set in a broken, almost sobbing rhythm.
Perhaps I would not have written this letter had I not a knife in my hand. I wish timorously to call to your notice that in moonlight a red coat—even a red coat—does not “crash” against anything. I have no suggestions to offer except that in reading the poem at that place one goes from moonlight into full sunlight and then is bewildered at the reappearance of the moon. Too violent. I realize of course that you want violence.
In any case this is the best poem of yours I have seen in some time.
Yours, with perhaps a few minor reservations—
From The Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams. Edited by John C. Thirlwall. New York: New Directions, 1984.
To read Amy Lowell’s poem “Appuldurcombe Park” as William Carlos Williams would have seen it in the August 1918 issue of Poetry magazine, click here.
To read Lowell’s definition of Imagism, from the 1915 anthology Some Imagist Poets that she published in response to a similar book edited by Ezra Pound, click here.
Meanwhile, Williams’ view of “The Poem as a Field of Action” can be found in a 1948 lecture of his, here.