Al Que Quiere! by William Carlos Williams
Published in 1917 by Four Seas Press, Al Que Quiere! was William Carlos Williams’s third poetry book—his breakthrough volume—and contains some of his best-loved poems (“Tract,” “Apology,” “El Hombre,” “Danse Russe,” “January Morning,” and “Smell!”), as well as a Whitmanesque concluding long poem, “The Wanderer,” that anticipates his epic masterpiece Paterson. Al Que Quiere! is the culmination of an experimental period for Williams that included his translations from Spanish. The Spanish epigraph of Al Que Quiere! is from the short story “El hombre que parecía un caballo” (“The Man Who Resembled a Horse”) by the Guatemalan author Rafael Arévalo Martínez. This centennial edition contains Williams’s translation of the story (made with the help of his father), as well as a fascinating chapter from a book of conversations with Williams, I Wanted to Write a Poem, in which he comments on the individual poems. Editor Jonathan Cohen contributes an introduction that situates Al Que Quiere! at the forefront of modernism in American poetry.