Learn More

William Stafford

(January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993 / Kansas)

Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing


The light along the hills in the morning
comes down slowly, naming the trees
white, then coasting the ground for stones to nominate.

Notice what this poem is not doing.

A house, a house, a barn, the old
quarry, where the river shrugs--
how much of this place is yours?

Notice what this poem is not doing.

Every person gone has taken a stone
to hold, and catch the sun. The carving
says, "Not here, but called away."

Notice what this poem is not doing.

The sun, the earth, the sky, all wait.
The crowns and redbirds talk. The light
along the hills has come, has found you.

Notice what this poem has not done.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: poem, house, river, sun, light, sky, tree

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing by William Stafford )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Deborah Wilson (10/24/2009 6:35:00 PM)

    Wow...I've gone to several sites to find out what people think this poem might be about. One person mentionned something about open-endedness, which resonated more with me than most of the other comments (except, perhaps, for the ones that just claimed to have no idea what it was about) . One possible way of seeing it: the poem, while evoking images, can't experience any of the things that we do. And maybe it's a gentle reminder that it/poetry can't substitute for living our lives. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie E F (8/30/2006 1:40:00 PM)

    The poem speaks to those who have departed. It speaks no words and yet volumes. Leaves no details, but images and shadows of living and dead. It speaks in the spaces and gaps and does not make a sound. It pulses with vibrant unfulfilled motions and departs unadorned. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Why Poet?, Sandra Feldman
  2. Man, Dilantha Gunawardana
  3. Kite, Dilantha Gunawardana
  4. A Middle-Aged First Kiss (2), Dilantha Gunawardana
  5. Misplaced Trust, Mr. Spock
  6. No Looking Back (A Follow-up Poem), Dr John Celes
  7. losing leaves, Leah Dodd
  8. Worthy, Galina Italyanskaya
  9. Often I Am Reminded, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  10. God Knows, Galina Italyanskaya

Poem of the Day

poet Sir Thomas Wyatt

Farewell love and all thy laws forever;
Thy baited hooks shall tangle me no more.
Senec and Plato call me from thy lore
To perfect wealth, my wit for to endeavour.
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. Stafford's Cabin, Edwin Arlington Robinson
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Love After Love, Derek Walcott
  9. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  10. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]