Southeast’s William Carlos Williams Poem Published in Paris Review

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 24, 2007 — The William Carlos Williams poem donated to Southeast Missouri State University last spring appears in the latest issue of The Paris Review.

The poem, titled “About a Little Girl,” was written in 1921 or 1922 and given by Williams to the little girl’s mother, Ethel Woodruff Macy. Williams, a practicing physician as well as a famous American poet, had diagnosed the eleven-year-old child with cancer. 

The diagnosis, however, proved to be incorrect, and the little girl grew up to marry, raise a family, and live to be 91 years of age.  Her husband taught for many years at the University of Missouri at Rolla.  Her sons, Carl and Michael Lund, donated the only known manuscript of the poem to Southeast.

Later this fall Southeast Missouri State University Press will publish a commemorative edition of the poem, accompanied by an essay by Michael Lund describing the history of the manuscript and the friendship of his grandmother, also a poet, with Williams.