William Stafford

Rating: 5
Rating: 5

William Stafford Biography

William Edgar Stafford was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on January 17, 1914, to Ruby Mayher and Earl Ingersoll Stafford. The eldest of three children, Stafford grew up with an appreciation for nature and books.

During the Depression the family moved from town to town as Earl Stafford searched for jobs. William helped to support the family also, by delivering papers, working in the sugar beet fields, raising vegetables, and as an electrician's mate. In 1933 Stafford graduated from high school in Liberal, Kansas, and attended Garden City and El Dorado junior colleges, graduating from the University of Kansas in 1937. In 1939 Stafford enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to begin graduate studies in Economics, but by the next year he had returned to Kansas to earn his master's degree in ...

William Stafford Comments

Norbert Hirschhorn 05 April 2005

William Stafford's Traveling Through the Dark: I am surprised how the poem is always misread. The doe 'had stiffened already, almost cold', i.e, several hours along since death, which makes it impossible for a fawn to be still alive. The whole premise of the poem is thus false, and the dilemma inauthentically presented. Stafford was a man who understood nature and creatures, and so I have to wonder what was he thinking in creating this bit of fiction.

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Shelly Mccausland 24 January 2014

Recently watched Oregon Art Beat where they featured William Stafford. Loved, loved his poetry.....it's how I think. It's inspiring me to get back into writing myself.

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Pamela Rogers 17 January 2015

Can someone tell me the name of the poem by William Stafford that someone on Oregon Art Beat recently referred to as having helped her during a time of grief? It ended with the sky, the sky, the sky. The title was something about a little girl and a fence for something? I've not located it as yet. Thanks for any help.

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T B 22 January 2015

The Little Girl by the Fence at School

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Danny Smith 06 October 2018

Hello Pamela Rogers THE LITTLE GIRL BY THE FENCE AT SCHOOL Grass that was moving found all shades of brown, moved them along, flowed autumn away galloping southward where summer had gone. And that was the morning someone’s heart stopped and all became still. A girl said, “Forever? ” And the grass. “Yes. Forever.” While the sky — The sky — the sky — the sky.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 14 July 2021

(1978) , and An Oregon Message (1987) . William Stafford died at his home in Lake Oswego, Oregon, on August 28,1993.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 14 July 2021

and complex vision upon closer examination. Among his best-known books are The Rescued Year (1966) , Stories That Could Be True: New and Collected Poems (1977) , Writing the Australian Crawl: Views on the Writer's Vocation

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Sylvia Frances Chan 14 July 2021

His poetry was strongly influenced by both the people and the plains region of his youth and young adulthood. Stafford's poems are often deceptively simple. Like Robert Frost's, however, they reveal a distinctive

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Sylvia Frances Chan 14 July 2021

William Stafford introvert great North American poet: Although his father appears more often in his poetry, Stafford has stated that his mother's presence and behavior influenced his writing.

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Elizabeth Marchitti 28 November 2019

Why can't I find his Juncos poem? There was a whole art show based on his line " I love their clean little coveralls." I have most of his books but don't know which one to look in. I love William Stafford. I love juncos.

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The Best Poem Of William Stafford

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

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.

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