William Stafford

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

William Stafford Poems

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