William Stafford

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

The Light By The Barn

Poem by William Stafford

The light by the barn that shines all night
pales at dawn when a little breeze comes.

A little breeze comes breathing the fields
from their sleep and waking the slow windmill.

The slow windmill sings the long day
about anguish and loss to the chickens at work.

The little breeze follows the slow windmill
and the chickens at work till the sun goes down--

Then the light by the barn again.

Comments about The Light By The Barn by William Stafford

  • Michael Joseph Ferguson (1/29/2008 3:09:00 AM)

    I've read this poem many times over the years - in bookstores, libraries... and like many of Stafford's poems, it has the ability to slow the train of thought down, and bring the focus in tight - to this moment. Stillness, nature, the luminescence of the seemingly mundane - this is Stafford country, and he minds it well.(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: loss, work, sleep, light, sun, night

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003