“The Waitress”, William Carlos Williams


twitter: @eugenio_fouz

I am not very keen on anthology books, however on this occasion I ´ve got this bilingual anthology with a selection of William Carlos Williams´s poetry. I was hit by the one under the title “The Waitress“.

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Poems (1922-1928)

William Carlos Williams

The Waitress

 

No wit (and none needed) but

the silence if her ways, grey eyes in

a depth of black lashes-

                        The eyes look and the look falls

 

     There is no way, no way. So close

one may feel the warmth of the cheek and yet there is

no way.

 

      The benefits of poverty are a roughened skin

of the hands, the broken

knuckles, the stained wrist

 

                             Serious. Not as the others.

 All the rest are liars, all but you.

                                                                      Wait on us.

             Wait on us, the hair held back practically

       by a net, close behind the ears, at the sides of

             the head. But the eyes-

             but the mouth, lightly

                                                 (quickly)

                                              touched with rouge.

 

The black dress makes the hair dark, strangely

enough, and the white dress makes it light.

 

There is a mole under the jaw, low under

the right ear-

 

And what arms!

 

The glassruby ring

on the fourth finger of the left hand.

 

-and the movements

under the scant dress as the weight of the tray

makes the hips shift forward slightly in lifting

and beginning to walk-

 

The Nominating Committee presents the

resolutions, etc. etc. etc. All those

in favor signify by saying, Aye. Contrariminded,

No.

Carried.

                      And aye, and aye, and aye!

                                   And the way the bell-hop runs downstairs:

                                    ta tuck a

                                        ta tuck a

                                             ta tuck a

                                                  ta tuck a

                                                       ta tuck a

 

and the gulls in the open window screaming over

              the slow break of the cold waves-

 

O unlit candle with the soft white

plume, Sunbeam Finest Safety Matches all

together on a little box-

 

And the reflections of both in

the mirror and the reflection of the hand, writing

                                  writing-

                                  Speak to me of her!

 

              -and nobody else and nothing else

in the whole city, not an electric sign of shifting

colors, fourfoot daisies and acanthus fronds going

from red to orange, green to blue-forty feet

                                                              across-

 

                                                         Wait on us, wait

                              on us with your momentary beauty to be enjoyed

                              by none of us. Neither by you, certainly,

                                                                                nor by me.”

***

See, download and print the poem here:

https://tinyurl.com/yblfxokw

or try to borrow the book from the library as I did a week ago

[Public Library, Av Rey Juan Carlos I, 17.- Murcia; @brmu]

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