This is one of my favorite Stafford poems. It speaks to his quiet inner stillness, out of which his conviction, his steadfastness, his mysteriously reserved and resonant poetry speaks. 'Ask me whether what I have done is my life.' That is such a powerful statement. All of his many honors really meant very little. It was the rich pool of his hidden inner life, forever changing and renewing, that was 'his life'. I love that idea. It says that what you can see about a person is only the tip of the iceberg; the real life is submerged and sacred, untouchable, eternal.