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

  • 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.

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  • 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

This Life

With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach

We would climb the highest dune,
from there to gaze and come down:
the ocean was performing;
we contributed our climb.

Waves leapfrogged and came

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