William Stafford

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

William Stafford Poems

1. A Ritual To Read To Each Other 1/13/2003
2. Accountability 4/15/2010
3. Across Kansas 1/13/2003
4. After Arguing Against The Contention That Art Must Come From Discontent 4/15/2010
5. Allegiances 1/13/2003
6. American Gothic 4/15/2010
7. An Oregon Message 4/15/2010
8. Ask Me 1/13/2003
9. Assurance 11/21/2014
10. At The Bomb Testing Site 4/15/2010
11. At The Un-National Monument Along The Canadian Border 4/15/2010
12. Atavism 1/13/2003
13. Bess 4/15/2010
14. Bi-Focal 4/15/2010
15. For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid 1/13/2003
16. Graydigger's Home 1/13/2003
17. Hay-Cutters 4/15/2010
18. Humanities Lecture 4/15/2010
19. In The Deep Channel 4/15/2010
20. Just Thinking 1/13/2003
21. Lit Instructor 1/13/2003
22. Monuments For A Friendly Girl At A Tenth Grade Party 4/15/2010
23. Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing 1/13/2003
24. Objector 1/13/2003
25. One Home 4/15/2010
26. Passing Remark 4/15/2010
27. Remembering Mountain Men 1/13/2003
28. Report To Crazy Horse 4/15/2010
29. Returned To Say 1/13/2003
30. Security 1/13/2003
31. The Light By The Barn 1/13/2003
32. The Well Rising 4/15/2010
33. Thinking For Berky 1/13/2003
34. This Life 1/13/2003
35. Traveling Through The Dark 1/13/2003
36. Waking At 3 A.M. 1/13/2003
37. Walking West 4/15/2010
38. When I Met My Muse 1/13/2003
39. With Kit, Age 7, At The Beach 1/20/2003

Comments about William Stafford

  • Jimmy Frank (4/26/2019 9:19:00 AM)

    @Sir Bob The Great
    Wat the heck? ? ? ?

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Sir Bob The Great (4/26/2019 9:17:00 AM)

    I say what a great man. Must go now its tea time.

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bob Rupp (4/16/2019 1:28:00 PM)

    Life sleeps in this tired old horse - from " A few snorts from a wild one"

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Mike Brady (1/27/2019 10:37:00 AM)

    Would someone tell me the first word of the first line of Stafford’s “A Few Snorts from a Wild One”? I have a photocopy of that poem, but the first word (and only that one word) is illegible...
    Kind regards!

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • 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.

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Danny Smith (10/6/2018 12:03:00 AM)

    Hello Pamela Rogers


    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.

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • 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.

    2 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • 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.

    8 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • 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.

    12 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • 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.

    37 person liked.
    38 person did not like.
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

Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.

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