William Stafford

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

Just Thinking - Poem by William Stafford

Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window.
No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held
for awhile. Some dove somewhere.

Been on probation most of my life. And
the rest of my life been condemned. So these moments
count for a lot--peace, you know.

Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one
stirring, no plans. Just being there.

This is what the whole thing is about.


Comments about Just Thinking by William Stafford

  • Seamus O' Brian (7/7/2017 5:07:00 PM)


    Punctuated, clipped expression with a few moving metaphors. On the whole expresses his appreciation of the existential moment in an appreciable manner. What we are invited to contemplate seems to have more substance than the invitation itself, though that s likely the intent of the author. Nicely done. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Mike King (7/7/2017 3:04:00 PM)


    Stafford is a great modern poet. His sparse use of words hints at his American Indian parentage. He should be read often. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (7/7/2017 11:17:00 AM)


    Being there! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (7/7/2017 3:50:00 AM)


    Life presents so many tides, trials and tribulations through out its journey. Still it has much to cherish.
    Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
    bring it up. Cool, cool minutes.....
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (7/7/2017 12:52:00 AM)


    It's nice to think about the realities of life and learn a lesson or two... Thanks for posting..... (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (7/7/2017 12:27:00 AM)


    The penultimate stanza is the best. The rest are very ordinary. (Report) Reply

  • Galina Italyanskaya (4/6/2017 8:37:00 AM)


    We all live with it: tested to be condemned or sometimes approved. It doesn't feel like freedom.
    Constant pressure.
    And such peaceful moments are most welcome.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/3/2012 1:31:00 PM)


    My farts smell real bad, for real. (Report) Reply

  • john tiong chunghoo (3/25/2006 12:24:00 AM)


    yes sometime it is.

    morning calm
    the way
    to start the day
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: memory, peace, wind, life, flower



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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