Objective: Introduction In the first half of this chapter, Horace Gregory introduces William Carlos Williams' collection of essays. Gregory discusses the idea of history, warning the reader that it is a pit full of danger--a jungle from which few professional historians come back alive. This lesson will focus on whether or not history is "true" and will discuss the question of whether or not a poet can write about history, or whether a historian is needed to write accurately about historical events.
1) Group or Partner Discussion: Williams' topic is history, yet Williams is a famous poet, not a historian. In addition to being a poet, Williams was a doctor--a pediatrician. Ask students why Gregory might have felt that Williams was or was not an appropriate person to take on the task of writing a book of history. Find quotations from the introduction that support your argument.
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