Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1980
How much I like [Examples of Created Systems]! So gently, sweetly felt! So easily you could have slipped into slop. But you didn't. It's not your habit to do so.
- Letter from Robert Penn Warren to William Meredith, February 15, 1975.
The Lowell poem, had I read it in Braille unsigned, were my fingertips that wise, I would have recognized it instantly as your voice, and I thank you for it.
-Letter from Maxine Kumin to William Meredith, November 6, 1977
I like "A Mild Spoken Citizen..." It's hard for me to see Nixon as anything other than a flat character, but you have been very generous: your voice, your humanity (though I'm resisting like mad), have made him possible. I mean I believe in the speaker so much that I want to believe in Nixon...
-Letter from Gary Gildner to William Meredith, December 8, 1970
Many thanks for the wonderfully evocative reminiscence of John Berryman. I can't tell...how moved by it and pleased with it I am. It is the best thing of its kind that I have seen on him.
-Letter from Richard Kelly to William Meredith, August 15, 1972
reader my friend, is in the words here, somewhere.
A great deal isn't right, as they say,
Certainly good cheer has never been what's wrong,
Reprinted from Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems by William Meredith, published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press in 1997. Copyright © 1997 by William Meredith. All rights reserved; used by permission of Northwestern University Press and the author.