Monday, March 17, 2008

Jonathan Williams

I've just heard the awful news that Jonathan Williams has passed away. He was, as Ron Silliman said only today, "one of our very last & very best links."

Others will sum up his amazing career: The Jargon Society... publishing Mina Loy and many others ... his own wonderful poems... I can only add that he was not only someone who did it all, and did it all well, but was generous and wise in the bargain. I spoke with him several years ago about Bunting, and that conversation was one of the highlights of my researches. (For a taste of Williams & Bunting - it was Williams, by the way, who introduced Tom Pickard to Bunting - see this post on John Latta's blog.)

He was a true man of letters.

In Poetry magazine, the late Ralph J. Mills, Jr., wrote (reviewing the selected poems) that Williams manifested "an individual enthusiasm for everything from Stan Musial, swinging his bat in Wrigley Field... to the jazz swinging of Miles Davis and Bud Powell; in between - or beyond - are Catullus, Tolkein, Edith Sitwell, Charles Ives, Mahler, and... such mentors as he names: Pound, Zukofsky, Creeley, Olson, Dahlberg, Buckminster Fuller."

A good blogpost about Williams can be read at the Damn the Caesars blog.

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