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 while 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 party of the poet's centennial, Ask Me collects 100 of William Stafford's crucial poems. As a conscientious objector in the course of global warfare II, whereas assigned to Civilian Public provider camps Stafford started his day-by-day writing perform, a lifelong early-morning ritual of witness. His poetry finds the implications 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 provides the easiest from a profound and unique American voice.
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"In an interview with invoice Moyers, Adrienne wealthy reviews that the identify poem of her 1991 quantity, An Atlas of the tricky global, "reflects at the of my kingdom, which I wrote very consciously as a citizen poet, taking a look at the geography, the historical past, the folks of my country" (345). the explicit occasion that led wealthy to put in writing a poem concerning the current situation of the U.S. used to be the Persian Gulf conflict of 1991, which on a distinct get together she describes because the first Bush administration's ploy to distract humans from family "anger and despair" ("I ensue to Think" 33). "An Atlas of the tough World" is a longer inquiry into the character of patriotism in time of war—as wealthy says within the poem: "I am bent on fathoming what it potential to like my country" (Atlas 22). It features as either geography and heritage, delivering a wide ranging view of Eighties and early Nineties America—the "difficult world" of the title—haunted via the contradictory legacies of freedom and oppression, idealism and materialism, democracy and capitalism. Like Whitman, whose attribute recommendations of catalogue and anecdote she borrows in her poem, wealthy acknowledges the good promise of the USA, but in addition recognizes its adverse components. Like Muriel Rukeyser, the second one very important precursor within the poem, she takes her readers on a street journey to areas they differently may by no means probability to discover. Approximating in size T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, or even together with a few endnotes, "An Atlas of the tricky World" deals an image of present-day the USA in a kingdom of obstacle which, wealthy hopes, can however be reversed and resolved. "
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Additional resources for Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford
Please just wait a minute. I want to run around the room and jump up and down and shout out of the window……………. OK, maybe they’re not the best few lines in the history of poetry and for those of you who were running around the room with me and I am sure there were some, I have one message to say to you: GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T LEARNT ANYTHING. THESE LINES ARE TERRIBLE! Right then, now I’ve got this out of the way let’s have a look at the few lines that I have added.
Contents ⎜Index ⎜Previous chapter Back W 33 X How to write Modern Poetry Contents ⎜Index ⎜ Previous chapter Geoff Tims Back W 34 X IV - Drafting t is very easy and very lazy to write a poem and then say yes, I have written the perfect poem; and then decide that you cannot be bothered to spend the quality time needed to check the poem. You may even convince yourself that this poem is the best thing you have ever written and it does not need checking. Not checking a poem is a huge mistake. Cool Publications I I might sound a bit harsh but this is a common mistake writers of poetry make.
9. What is the colour of your next-door neighbour's door? What colour are the curtains of the house opposite? What colour are the shoes that your loved one is wearing? What colour is the wallpaper in the hall of your next-door neighbour’s house? Which house is the nearest to you that has a satellite dish? Can you tell me what colour the gate is of the house three doors away from you? Where is the nearest grid to your house? What does the air smell like outside your house? Does the house next door have a chimney?