William Stafford

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

Bi-Focal Poem by William Stafford


Sometimes up out of this land
a legend begins to move.
Is it a coming near
of something under love?


Love is of the earth only,
the surface, a map of roads
leading wherever go miles
or little bushes nod.


Not so the legend under,
fixed, inexorable,
deep as the darkest mine
the thick rocks won't tell.


As fire burns the leaf
and out of the green appears
the vein in the center line
and the legend veins under there,


So, the world happens twice—
once what we see it as;
second it legends itself
deep, the way it is.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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