Michelle Williams big reader of poetry
5 January, 2011
Williams is a big reader of poetry and collects first editions of books—one of her prized possessions is a first edition of The Great Gatsby—so I foraged around in the poetry stacks of a used-book store near her house in Brooklyn and found a first-edition Ferlinghetti to give her as well as a selection of poems by my first mentor in New York City, the late Howard Moss, who for 40 years was the poetry editor of The New Yorker. As we settled onto the sofa in front of the fireplace on the second floor of the house she had shared with Heath in their happier days, I presented her with her gifts. A gasp escaped her as she saw the Howard Moss book. Her eyes had already begun to mist as she ran her finger down the Table of Contents through the myriad titles and allowed it to come to rest at one of Moss’ most beautiful poems, “The Pruned Tree.” She turned to its page. There was one tear. Then there were two. But that was all. She flicked them away. It was her smile that now registered such wonder.