Details for Paterson


I just saw two boys.
One of them gets paid for distributing circulars
and he throws it down the sewer.

I said, Are you a Boy Scout?
He said, no.
The other one was.
I have an implicit faith in
the Boy Scouts.

William Carlos Williams. “Details for Paterson.” Collected Poems Volume II, 1939-62.


Boy Scouts distributing circulars.

Paterson is an old American city on the banks of the Passaic River in northern New Jersey, and it is the subject of the epic poem written by William Carlos Williams, between 1946 and 1958.

Williams’ Paterson is an exploration of the poet’s consciousness, which finds its objectification in an ordinary American city. This detail of Paterson (posted above) did not appear in Williams’ final text, but it serves as evidence that the Boy Scouts did not escape the poet’s observations.

"A man in himself is a city" WCW.

“A man in himself is a city” WCW.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s