The Centrality of Seeing in Journey to Love

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This article examines scenes of looking and watching that recur throughout Williams's 1955 collection Journey to Love and suggests that acts of seeing provide a poetic paradigm for the book. In some of the best poems in Journey to Love Williams envisions the act of looking in relational terms, which prevents the book as a whole from becoming solipsistic. The article compares this late work to Williams's precise and unallegorical depiction of the world in his earlier poems. Williams ultimately turns from poetic iconoclasm to imaginative synthesis, connecting the parts of the world he singles out for attention through his characteristically keen observations.