William Stafford

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

William Stafford Poems

1. A Ritual To Read To Each Other 1/13/2003
2. Accountability 4/15/2010
3. Across Kansas 1/13/2003
4. After Arguing Against The Contention That Art Must Come From Discontent 4/15/2010
5. Allegiances 1/13/2003
6. American Gothic 4/15/2010
7. An Oregon Message 4/15/2010
8. Ask Me 1/13/2003
9. Assurance 11/21/2014
10. At The Bomb Testing Site 4/15/2010
11. At The Un-National Monument Along The Canadian Border 4/15/2010
12. Atavism 1/13/2003
13. Bess 4/15/2010
14. Bi-Focal 4/15/2010
15. For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid 1/13/2003
16. Graydigger's Home 1/13/2003
17. Hay-Cutters 4/15/2010
18. Humanities Lecture 4/15/2010
19. In The Deep Channel 4/15/2010
20. Just Thinking 1/13/2003
21. Lit Instructor 1/13/2003
22. Monuments For A Friendly Girl At A Tenth Grade Party 4/15/2010
23. Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing 1/13/2003
24. Objector 1/13/2003
25. One Home 4/15/2010
26. Passing Remark 4/15/2010
27. Remembering Mountain Men 1/13/2003
28. Report To Crazy Horse 4/15/2010
29. Returned To Say 1/13/2003
30. Security 1/13/2003
31. The Light By The Barn 1/13/2003
32. The Well Rising 4/15/2010
33. Thinking For Berky 1/13/2003
34. This Life 1/13/2003
35. Traveling Through The Dark 1/13/2003
36. Waking At 3 A.M. 1/13/2003
37. Walking West 4/15/2010
38. When I Met My Muse 1/13/2003
39. With Kit, Age 7, At The Beach 1/20/2003
Best Poem of William Stafford

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs...

Read the full of A Ritual To Read To Each Other

Thinking For Berky

In the late night listening from bed
I have joined the ambulance or the patrol
screaming toward some drama, the kind of end
that Berky must have some day, if she isn't dead.

The wildest of all, her father and mother cruel,
farming out there beyond the old stone quarry
where highschool lovers parked their lurching cars,
Berky learned to love in that dark school.

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