Spring and All

William Carlos Williams's Spring and All is a volume published in 1923 by Robert McAlmon's Contact Publishing Co. It is a hybrid work made up of alternating sections of prose and free verse. It might best be understood as a manifesto of the imagination: the prose passages are a dramatic, energetic, and often cryptic series of statements about the ways in which language can be renewed such that it does not describe the world, but recreates it. These passages are interspersed with poems that demonstrate this recreation in both their form and content. The two most famous sections of Spring and All are poems I and XXII. The former, which opens, "By the road to the contagious hospital," is commonly known by the title "Spring and All," and the latter is generally known as "The Red Wheelbarrow."

Spring and All was printed in an edition of 300 by Maurice Darantière, the Dijon, France printer who had printed the first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses in 1922, and who also printed a range of other significant modernist works. Until July 2011, when New Directions Publishing issued a handsome facsimile edition, it was never again published as a free-standing book, though the poems and some of the prose sections were reprinted in various combinations through the years. In 1970, Spring and All appeared in its entirety, along with several other short works, in New Directions volume Imaginations, which is still in print. Spring and All is also included in the first volume of Williams's Collected Poems.

William Carlos Williams
Poetry collections
  • Poems (1909)
  • Al Que Quiere! (1917)
  • Sour Grapes (1921)
  • Spring and All (1923)
  • An Early Martyr and Other Poems (1935)
  • The Desert Music and Other Poems (1954)
  • Journey to Love (1955)
  • Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems (1962)
  • "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"
  • "Paterson"
  • "Raleigh was Right"
  • "The Red Wheelbarrow"
  • "This Is Just To Say"
Short stories
  • The Use of Force

Famous quotes containing the words and all and/or spring:

    Flower in the crannied wall,
    I pluck you out of the crannies,
    I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
    Little flower—but if I could understand
    What you are, root and all, and all in all,
    I should know what God and man is.
    Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

    O, Wind,
    If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)