Long recognized as a masterpiece of modern American poetry, William Carlos Williams' Paterson is one man's testament and vision, "a humanist manifesto enacted in five books, a grammar to help us to live" (Denis Donoghue). Paterson is both a place - the New Jersey city near which Williams lived - and a man: the symbolic figure in whom the person (the poet's own life) and the public (the history of the region) are combined. Originally four books (published individually between 1946 and 1951), the structure of Paterson (in Dr. Williams' words) "follows the course of the Passaic River, whose life seemed more and more to resemble my own: the river above the Falls, the catastrophe of the Falls itself, the river below the Falls and the entrance at the end into the great sea." Book Five, published in 1958, when the poet was seventy-five, affirms the triumphant life of the imagination, in spite of age and death. This edition has been completely re-edited by noted Williams scholar Christopher MacGowan of the College of William and Mary and, in addition to presenting the most authoritative text possible, contains invaluable notes identifying Williams' sources and references.