William Stafford

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

Comments about William Stafford

  • Dave Harvey (12/31/2018 12:34:00 PM)

    I think the first poem I ever read by him was titled Alpine.: It was a monologue by a small animal that lived above timberline on an unnamed mountain.

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  • Danny Smith (10/6/2018 12:03:00 AM)

    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.

  • Prosenjit N Sinha (1/29/2018 10:02:00 PM)

    Nobert Hirschhorn is preoccupied with the apparent, incapable of appreciating the spaces of the mind which
    may guide us to universal truths. You cannot blame him; for urban life with it's trivialities, ultimately constricts-
    builds walls of concrete & glass which keeps in facts but excludes the Truth.

  • Pamela Rogers (1/17/2015 5:50:00 PM)

    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.

  • Shelly Mccausland (1/24/2014 4:59:00 PM)

    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.

  • Norbert Hirschhorn (4/5/2005 2:33:00 AM)

    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.

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...

Read the full of A Ritual To Read To Each Other

Returned To Say

When I face north a lost Cree
on some new shore puts a moccasin down,
rock in the light and noon for seeing,
he in a hurry and I beside him

It will be a long trip; he will be a new chief;
we have drunk new water from an unnamed stream;
under little dark trees he is to find a path
we both must travel because we have met.

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