William Stafford Poems
- Ask Me Some time when the river is ice ask me mistakes I ...
- A Ritual To Read To Each Other If you don't know the kind of ...
- Traveling Through The Dark Traveling through the dark I found...
- Just Thinking Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a ...
- Notice What This Poem Is Not D... The light along the hills ...
- For My Young Friends Who Are A... There is a country to ...
- When I Met My Muse I glanced at her and took my ...
William Edgar Stafford was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on January 17, 1914, to Ruby Mayher and Earl Ingersoll Stafford. The eldest of three children, Stafford grew up with an appreciation for nature and books.
During the Depression the family moved from town to town as Earl Stafford searched for jobs. William helped to support the family also, by delivering papers, working in the sugar beet fields, raising vegetables, and as an electrician's mate. In 1933 Stafford graduated from high school in Liberal, Kansas, and attended Garden City and El Dorado junior colleges, graduating from the University of Kansas in 1937. In 1939 Stafford enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to begin ... more »
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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.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.