A Wilder, Lovelier Song

An excerpt from "The American Background"

by William Carlos Williams

They saw birds with rusty breasts and called them robins. Thus, from the start, an America of which they could have had no inkling drove the first settlers upon their past, They retreated for warmth and reassurance to something previously familiar.  But at a cost.  For what they saw were not robins.  They were thrushes only vaguely resembling the rosy, daintier English bird. Larger, stronger, and in the evening of a wilder, lovelier song, actually here was something the newcomers had never in their lives before encountered.

  "Imperfect Transcripts," Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Poet"

  "A Bard Commensurate," Walt Whitman, 1855 Preface

  "Spring Songs," Walt Whitman, Specimen Days,

  "A Wilder, Lovelier Song," William Carlos Williams, "The American Background"

  "Poetics of Loss," DL