This article analyzes Williams’s use of foreign words, primarily in Kora in Hell, as well as his employment of signs in various poems, in order to consider his poetic response to a consumerist society characterized by inequality. Drawing on Adorno’s theory on the use of foreign words, this article argues that Williams crafts his challenge to the entanglement between market forces and language in part through recourse to foreign languages. Moreover, within the overall frame of a socially inequitable consumer culture, the article discusses Williams’s inclusion of wandering or immobile figures, such as vagrants, and his own conflicted position in relation to these presences in his poems. The insertion of foreign words and the inclusion of socially marginalized, wandering figures are here, together with procedures of citation and collage, seen as employed in order to expose the ways in which we are bound by a language that is made to serve consumerism and market forces and which only art has the capacity to challenge.

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