William Carlos Williams on "The Yachts"

"I wrote the whole damn thing with a change," Williams noted later. "I was thinking of terza rima, but gave up rime--the very vague imitation of Dante. I was quickly carried away by my own feelings." So Williams told John Thirwell.

From notes Williams filed in a folder with his letter to Henry W. Wells dated July 27, 1955 (now among the manuscripts held in Columbia University's rare book and manuscript library): " . . . the yachts do not sink but go on with the race while only in the imagination are they seen to founder. It is a false situation which the yachts typify with the beauty of their movements while the real situation (of the poor) is desperate while 'the skillful yachts pass over.'"