William Jay Smith

Born in Winnfield, LA; 1918

  William Jay Smith has a Native American heritage, which often gives him inspiration on poems. Smith grew up near an army base in the time between both world wars. He lived with the strict discipline of a military-influence life. For part of his life he lived in bad living conditions like a two-room house very close to a sinkhole. Despite this, he became a well-renowned poet.

  William Jay  Smith has created a wide range of poems for adults and kids alike. Yet, a quote from him says he has a "commitment to traditional rhymed metrical-stanzaic forms". Many poems of his are based on his Native American background.  In some of his work, he recounts tragic history, in others he may describe everyday objects in a fun-filled way. He is very well known for the immense variety of poems he has.

   This next poem is an entertaining and fun poem. The first time I read this I ended up with a smile on my face. This poem describes a seal swimming and being entertaining.

  This was a concrete poem that I find enjoyable. It has a great rhythm and rhyme scheme. It seems to be shaped like a seal, or its swimming movements. It is a fun description of an entertaining seal.