Download E-books Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford PDF

By Kim Stafford, William Stafford

"In our time there was no poet who revived human hearts and spirits extra convincingly than William Stafford." —Naomi Shihab Nye

Some time whilst the river is ice ask me
mistakes i've got made. inquire from me whether
what i've got performed is my life.
—from "Ask Me"

In social gathering of the poet's centennial, Ask Me collects 100 of William Stafford's crucial poems. As a conscientious objector in the course of global struggle II, whereas assigned to Civilian Public carrier camps Stafford begun his day-by-day writing perform, a lifelong early-morning ritual of witness. His poetry unearths the results of violence, the day-by-day necessity of ethical judgements, and the bounty of artwork. chosen and with a notice by way of Kim Stafford, Ask Me offers the easiest from a profound and unique American voice.

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They danced and sang for the warriors or volunteered their support. We enjoyed them, other than Tokyo Rose—didn’t we kill her, later on? Our personal leaders? —the jaunty cigarette holder, the only with the cigar. …Remember the pearl-handled revolvers? And Ike, who performed golfing. It was once us opposed to the undesirable men, then. you will have been there. coming into heritage have in mind the road within the sand? You have been there, at the small screen television, a part of the army. You didn’t are looking to supply it yet they took your cash for these deadly tanks and the bombs. Minorities, they don’t have a rustic no matter if they vote: “Thanks, anyway,” the bulk says, and also you are left there observing the sand and the road they drew, calling it a problem, calling it “ours. ” the place was once your cash whilst the tanks grumbled earlier? Which bombs did you purchase for the loss of life rain that fell? Which year’s taxes placed that fireside to town the place the screaming all started? “Shall now we have that singing…” we could have that making a song within the night? For among the celebs and our superstar there is not any one. And we needs to sleep back. We leisure the fingers, no longer harmful, at the wool. And we position pillows less than the turning head. Quietly now, no relocating, was once there anything forgotten? (The wasting one neglects and calls it profitable. ) support one another. Have that making a song within the night. within the evening wilderness The Apache be aware for romance twists then numbs the tongue: Uttered as soon as transparent, stated— by no means that be aware back. “Cousin,” you name, or “Sister” and one extra notice that spins within the dirt: a talk-flake chipped like obsidian. the woman who hears this flake and follows you into the darkish Turns at a marginally: the evening wasteland without end at the back of her again. The Concealment: Ishi, the final Wild Indian A rock, a leaf, dust, even the grass Ishi the shadow guy needed to placed again the place it was once. with a view to reside he needed to disguise that he did. His deep canyon he stored unmarked for the area, and simply his face grew to become covered, simply because nobody observed it and it for this reason didn’t make any distinction. If he seemed, he died; and he was once the final. Erased footprints, berries that purify the breath, rituals sooner than sunrise with water—even the canine roamed a land unspoiled by way of Ishi who used to possess it, along with his aunt and uncle, whose previous limbs certain in willow bark ultimately stopped and have been hidden below the rocks, in candy leaves. We should support switch that sort of untimely suicide, the life steadily mottled away until eventually the heart beat blends and the messages all cross a technique from the area and disappear inward: Ishi lived. It used to be o.k. for him to make a music. In California now the place his opposites unmistakably live we wander their streets and occasionally whisper his identify— “Ishi. ” Bess Ours are the streets the place Bess first met her melanoma. She went to paintings each day prior the safe homes. At her task within the library she prepared greater and higher vegetation, and while scholars requested for books her hand went out to assist. within the final yr of her lifestyles she needed to preserve her associates from figuring out how chuffed they have been.

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