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The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford

  • Paperback
Chapter One Family and Children With Kit, Age Seven, 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 straight out of the storm. What should our gaze mean? Kit waited for me to decide. Standing on such a hill, what would you tell your child? That was an absolute vista. Those waves raced far, and cold. "How far could you swim, Daddy, in such a storm?" "As far as was needed," I said, and as I talked, I swam. Passing Remark In scenery I like flat country. In life I don't like much to happen. In personalities I like mild colorless people. And in colors I prefer gray and brown. My wife, a vivid girl from the mountains, says, "Then why did you choose me?" Mildly I lower my brown eyes— there are so many things admirable people do not understand. At Our House Home late, one lamp turned low, crumpled pillow on the couch, wet dishes in the sink (late snack), in every child's room the checked, slow, sure breath— Suddenly in this doorway where I stand in this house I see this place again, this time the night as quiet, the house as well secured, all breath but mine borne gently on the air— And where I stand, no one. Consolations "The broken part heals even stronger than the rest," they say. But that takes awhile. And, "Hurry up," the whole world says. They tap their feet. And it still hurts on rainy afternoons when the same absent sun gives no sign it will ever come back. "What difference in a hundred years?" The barn where Agnes hanged her child will fall by then, and the scrawled words erase themselves on the floor where rats' feet run. Boards curl up. Whole new trees drink what the rivers bring. Things die. "No good thing is easy." They told us that, while we dug our fingers into the stones and looked beseechingly into their eyes. They say the hurt is good for you. It makes what comes later a gift all the more precious in your bleeding hands. For a Lost Child What happens is, the kind of snow that sweeps Wyoming comes down while I'm asleep. Dawn finds our sleeping bag but you are gone. Nowhere now, you call through every storm, a voice that wanders without a home. Across bridges that used to find a shore you pass, and along shadows of trees that fell before you were born. You are a memory too strong to leave this world that slips away even as its precious time goes on.
The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford
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This collection includes Stafford's writings about the Midwestern and Oregon landscapes, his many poems on Crazy Horse, Ishi and others that spring from his Native American heritage. There are also reflections on his longtime peace work and refusal of war services, and poems about his father and mother. William Stafford received the National Book Award. Robert Bly is the author of "Iron John".
William Stafford was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914. After the Second World War (to which he was a conscientious objector), he earned a Ph.D. at the newly created Iowa Writer's Workshop. A longtime lecturer, workshop leader, and advocate on behalf of younger writers and readers, Stafford taught English at Lewis and Clark College from 1956 to 1979. He was awarded the National Book Award in Poetry for "Traveling through the Dark," The author of over fifty books, Stafford remains one of the most beloved and widely read poets in contemporary American letters. He died in Oregon, where he had f
Author
William Stafford
Short Title
DARKNESS AROUND US IS DEEP
Pages
160
Publisher
Harper Perennial
Language
English
ISBN-10
0060969164
ISBN-13
9780060969165
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
DEWEY
811.54
Year
1993
Publication Date
1993-12-31
Imprint
HarperPerennial
Subtitle
Selected Poems of William Stafford
Place of Publication
New York, NY
Country of Publication
United States
Edited by
Robert Bly
Residence
US
Death
1993
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