William Stafford

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

At The Un-National Monument Along The Canadian Border - Poem by William Stafford

This is the field where the battle did not happen,
where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands,
where no monument stands,
and the only heroic thing is the sky.

Birds fly here without any sound,
unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed – or were killed – on this ground
hallowed by neglect and an air so tame
that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.


Comments about At The Un-National Monument Along The Canadian Border by William Stafford

  • (1/31/2015 6:29:00 PM)


    I find thjs poem is a comment on the futility of war and the habit of putting up monuments to it, instead of forgetting about it and getting on with life. The first two lines are also witty, which gives the poem more 'bite.' (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010



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