A Ritual To Read To Each Other Poem by William Stafford

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

Rating: 3.9


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 but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Stephen Shindler 03 February 2012

I like to punch people named Nick in the face.

8 40 Reply
Stephen Shindler 03 February 2012

I really really like toytels...

10 32 Reply
ari anna arena 02 November 2006

The last stanza is a summation of all of life. So beautifully said.So true.

30 7 Reply
Stephen Shindler 03 February 2012

When I grow up, I wanna be a super hero... Captain Hammer.

4 33 Reply
Luke Debee 03 February 2012

I find it interesting how this poet, William Stafford, looks like a drunk bad guy from a generic western film. I'm just stating an obvious opinion.

9 27 Reply
Ask Enlighted 12 February 2021

Always say it never keep it your heart be try to yourself otherwise how will the other person know

0 0 Reply
M Asim Nehal 12 February 2021

To know someone closely is a bliss.

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 03 February 2020

so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: /// poignant writing

0 0 Reply
michael walker 20 December 2019

It is important to know each other, as much as we can. 'We read people', a person once said to me. That is true. It is not wise to fool people, even though we could do so. ' the darkness around us is deep'.

0 0 Reply
Sinha 16 April 2019

" Northwhitehead waits amidst research papers on energy & military recruitment posters" or the alternative- a ritual to read to each other.The choice is ours

0 0 Reply
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