Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

In collaboration with classical scholars, C. K. Williams has written verse translations of two Greek tragedies: one, in 1978, of Sophocles’ Trachinai (435-429 b.c.e.; The Women of Trachis, 1729), and the other, in 1985, of Euripides’ Bakchai (405 b.c.e.; The Bacchae, 1781). The translations, as their notes indicate, are for the modern stage as well as for modern readers. Williams hopes for a flowering of the “kernel” of Sophocles’ tragedy within the translator’s historical moment, “a clearing away of some of the accumulations of reverence that confuse the work and the genius who made them.” The translations are thus not staid or literal but do aim for thematic accuracy and life. Williams also translated poems from Issa under the title The Lark, the Thrush, the Starling (1983). He has also translated Selected Poems (1994) of Francis Ponge (with John Montague and Margaret Guiton) and Canvas (1991) of poetry by Adam Zagajewski (with Renata Gorczynski and Benjamin Ivry). Williams published personal and critical essays in Poetry and Consciousness (1998); an award-winning memoir, Misgivings: My Mother, My Father, Myself (2000); and On Whitman (2010), an intimate rediscovery of America’s first great poet, Walt Whitman. Williams has also written and cowritten children’s books, such as How the Nobble Was Finally Found (2009; with Stephen Gammell) and A Not Scary Story About Big Scary Things (2010).