William Stafford

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

William Stafford Poems

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