Ask Me Poem by William Stafford

Ask Me

Rating: 3.7


Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Julie Reynolds-Otrugman 17 January 2009

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.

29 3 Reply
Jerry Buckley 22 March 2010

I agree with Julie Reynolds- Otrugman.....what she said... six stars and three thumbs up

12 3 Reply
John Tiong Chunghoo 25 March 2006

yes, so meaningful is this poem. swift river so is time listen to the river

6 9 Reply
Kid Me 30 March 2017

if you asking me I think you should've kys yourself before you died bc you depressed af cuz

4 10 Reply
Aftab Alam Khursheed 14 November 2014

poem that is on sublimity ask me..thank

3 4 Reply
jennifer 25 May 2022

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0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 24 May 2022

Well penned from the heart. A passionate work of art...

0 0 Reply
Jose Gonzalez 23 May 2022

Some have tried to hurt me and some have tried to help. Ask me what difference they made. I love that line if you are human you understand the line.5 stars for me n

0 0 Reply
Deepak S S 22 April 2021

Very rare quality to find...I will listen to what you say. You and I can turn and look

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 03 February 2020

I will listen to what you say. You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait........../// beautiful imaginative writing

0 0 Reply
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