Williams's poems confront a here and now world of loves, injustices, suggestive trivia, and time-bound heroism. His manner is bemused and detached, almost defensively in the face of his clear sympathies with the hopeless and oppressed. The scene may be domestic (""My Father Who is Seventy-five Will Not Thank God for His Years"") or political (""It is not that it came to nothing/ Emiliano./ All things do./ It is that it came/ in a slow land/ so quickly true"") but nearly always involves a pained appreciation of life and effort in limited time. There is a lot of Americana viewed nostalgically or askance -- Ed Sullivan, the moon landing, a sideshow -- and a Funny poem about the olive is actually a fable about human invention, the accidental good effects of bad intentions. His wry humor (as in ""Today Is Wednesday"") sometimes suggests early Dylan or Arlo Guthrie lyrics; his serious statements are as corporeal and moving as the things he writes about.