9781555972691

The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781555972691

  • ISBN10:

    1555972691

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1998-02-01
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
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Summary

So, the world happens twice-- once what we see it as; second it legends itself deep, the way it is. William Stafford filled his life and ours with poetry of challenge and consolation.The Way It Isgathers unpublished poems from his last year, including the poem he wrote the day he died, as well as an essential selection of works from throughout his career. An editorial team including his son Kim Stafford, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Robert Bly collaborated on shaping this book of Stafford's life in poetry. The poems inThe Way It Isencompass Stafford's rugged domesticity, the political edge of his irony, and his brave starings off into emptiness. What emerges here is Stafford's faith in language and the soul, those things that form the base for his artistic gyroscope. This collection reveals the depth and breadth of a poet for whom the art was to make a life richly lived.

Author Biography

Born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914, William Stafford was one of our most prolific and celebrated poets. He was a witness for peace, and for honesty, recognizing in his writing that "justice will take us millions of intricate moves." Author of over fifty books, and recipient of the National Book Award for Traveling through the Dark, Stafford was a professor at Lewis & Clark College, and a traveling teacher throughout the world. As a conscientious objector during World War II, he began his unswerving habit of writing before dawn each day, and his habitual generosity to other writers and readers. After serving as consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970, he was named Oregon's Poet Laureate in 1975. He died at his home in Oregon in 1993.

Table of Contents

Frontispiece: "Are you Mr. William Stafford?"
Preface
Naomi Shihab Nye
The Way It Is: NEW POEMS 3(46)
Sometimes I Breathe (1992)
3(21)
Sky
3(1)
One Night
4(1)
Third Street
4(1)
How the Real Bible Is Written
5(1)
Easter Morning
6(1)
Fixers
6(1)
You and Art
7(1)
Walking the Borders
7(1)
Something That Happens Right Now
8(1)
Clash
8(1)
Learning
9(1)
Entering History
10(1)
Not in the Headlines
10(1)
One Evening
11(1)
Right to Die
12(1)
Toward the End
12(1)
Whispered in Winter
13(1)
Old Glory
14(1)
Explaining the Big One
14(1)
At the Grave of My Brother: Bomber Pilot
15(1)
A Memorial: Son Bret
16(1)
Annals of Tai Chi: "Push Hands"
16(1)
Sure You Do
17(1)
The Magic Mountain
17(1)
For a Daughter Gone Away
18(1)
Living Statues
19(1)
Put These in Your Pipe
20(1)
Meditation in the Waiting Room
20(1)
Choosing a Dog
21(1)
Identities
22(1)
Assuming Control
22(1)
A Few Snorts from a Wild One
23(1)
There's a Thread You Follow (Poems written in 1993)
24(25)
The Last Class
24(1)
Putting the Sonnet to Work
24(1)
Charades
25(1)
Cro-Magnon
26(1)
Notes for the Program
26(1)
Style
26(1)
Evidence
27(1)
Retirement
28(1)
Inscribed on a Prayer Wheel and Spun
28(1)
Writing It Down
29(1)
Mein Kampf
30(1)
Things That Hurt Me--
30(1)
Sayings of the Blind
31(1)
Real People
32(1)
Just Thinking
32(1)
No Praise, No Blame
33(1)
Afterwards
33(1)
Where We Are
34(1)
Slow News from Our Place
34(1)
Emily, This Place, and You
35(1)
Quo Vadis
36(1)
"It's heavy to drag, this big sack..."
36(1)
Crossing Our Campground
37(1)
Godiva County, Montana
37(1)
Jeremiah at Miminagish
38(1)
Hunger
38(1)
Ways to Live
39(1)
1. India
2. Having It Be Tomorrow
3. Being Nice and Old
4. Good Ways to Live
Living on the Plains [1993]
40(1)
Our Way Those Days before These Days
41(1)
Haycutters
42(1)
The Way It Is
42(1)
November
42(1)
Big Bang
43(1)
Joe's Corner
43(1)
Home State
44(1)
"At noon comes the lift..."
44(1)
You Reading This, Be Ready
45(1)
At Fourth and Main in Liberal, Kansas, 1932
45(1)
"Are you Mr. William Stafford?"
46(3)
Stories That Could Be True 49(100)
FROM Stories That Could Be True (1977)
49(11)
Our Story
49(1)
A Story That Could Be True
49(1)
Wovoka's Witness
50(1)
Things in the Wild Need Salt
51(1)
Accountability
52(1)
A Message from the Wanderer
52(1)
At the Playground
53(1)
Artist, Come Home
54(1)
Wild Horse Lore
54(1)
On a Church Lawn
55(1)
The Little Girl by the Fence at School
55(1)
Growing Up
55(1)
At the Un-National Monument along the Canadian Border
56(1)
Ask Me
56(1)
A Bird inside a Box
57(1)
The Moment Again
57(1)
A Bridge Begins in the Trees
58(1)
Peace Walk
59(1)
Whispered into the Ground
59(1)
FROM West of Your City (1960)
60(17)
Midwest
60(1)
One Home
60(1)
Ceremony
61(1)
In the Deep Channel
62(1)
Circle of Breath
62(1)
Listening
63(1)
A Visit Home
63(1)
The Farm on the Great Plains
64(1)
Walking West
65(1)
Our People
65(1)
In the Oregon Country
66(1)
Weather Report
66(1)
Vacation
67(1)
At the Bomb Testing Site
67(1)
The Fish Counter at Bonneville
68(1)
Watching the Jet Planes Dive
68(1)
The Move to California
69(3)
1. The Summons in Indiana
2. Glimpsed on the Way
3. At the Summit
4. Springs near Hagerman
5. Along Highway 40
6. Written on the Stub of the First Paycheck
Bi-Focal
72(1)
Outside
73(1)
Boom Town
73(1)
Level Light
74(1)
Ice-Fishing
74(1)
The Well Rising
75(1)
A Ritual to Read to Each Other
75(1)
Connections
76(1)
Sayings from the Northern Ice
76(1)
FROM Traveling through the Dark (1962)
77(26)
Traveling through the Dark
77(1)
In Medias Res
78(1)
Elegy
78(2)
A Stared Story
80(1)
Thinking for Berky
80(1)
With My Crowbar Key
81(1)
Parentage
82(1)
The Research Team in the Mountains
82(1)
Prairie Town
83(1)
The Old Hamer Place
84(1)
The Tillamook Burn
84(1)
On Quitting a Little College
85(1)
Reporting Back
86(1)
In Response to a Question
86(1)
B.C.
87(1)
Lit Instructor
87(1)
The Star in the Hills
88(1)
Universe Is One Place
88(1)
In the Night Desert
89(1)
Before the Big Storm
89(1)
At Liberty School
90(1)
Lake Chelan
91(1)
Fall Journey
91(1)
Late at Night
92(1)
A Dedication
92(1)
"The Lyf So Short..."
93(1)
At the Old Place
94(1)
Adults Only
94(1)
Glances
95(1)
Fall Wind
95(1)
As Pippa Lilted
95(1)
The Trip
96(1)
Representing Far Places
96(1)
In Fear and Valor
97(1)
At Cove on the Crooked River
97(1)
Looking for Someone
98(1)
Found in a Storm
99(1)
Returned to Say
99(1)
In Dear Detail, by Ideal Light
100(1)
The Wanderer Awaiting Preferment
101(1)
Vocation
102(1)
FROM The Rescued Year (1966)
103(17)
Some Shadows
103(1)
My Father: October 1942
104(1)
Back Home
104(1)
Across Kansas
105(1)
A Family Turn
105(1)
Fifteen
106(1)
Homecoming
107(1)
The Rescued Year
107(3)
Judgments
110(1)
Aunt Mabel
111(1)
Our City Is Guarded by Automatic Rockets
111(1)
Believer
112(1)
At the Chairman's Housewarming
113(1)
The Epitaph Ending in And
114(1)
Keepsakes
114(1)
At This Point on the Page
115(1)
At the Fair
115(1)
Passing Remark
116(1)
At the Klamath Berry Festival
116(1)
The Concealment: Ishi, the Last Wild Indian
117(1)
Near
117(1)
Recoil
118(1)
The Animal That Drank Up Sound
118(2)
FROM Allegiances (1970)
120(11)
With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach
120(1)
Bess
120(1)
Holcomb, Kansas
121(1)
A Gesture toward an Unfound Renaissance
122(1)
Reaching Out to turn On a Light
122(1)
At the Grave of My Brother
123(1)
Father's Voice
123(1)
A Sound from the Earth
124(1)
Stories from Kansas
124(1)
Things That Happen
125(1)
Vacation Trip
126(1)
Note
126(1)
Religion Back Home
126(1)
Any Time
127(1)
At Our House
128(1)
Allegiances
128(1)
Earth Dweller
129(1)
A Walk in the Country
130(1)
So Long
131(1)
Someday, Maybe (1973)
131(18)
An Introduction to Some Poems
131(1)
Thirteenth and Pennsylvania
132(1)
New Letters from Thomas Jefferson
133(1)
Waking at 3 A.M.
134(1)
A Little Gift
135(1)
Existences
135(1)
Father and Son
136(1)
Indian Caves in the Dry Country
136(1)
People of the South Wind
136(1)
Bring the North
137(1)
Report to Crazy Horse
138(2)
Deer Stolen
140(1)
The Little Ways That Encourage Good Fortune
141(1)
The Swerve
141(1)
Report from a Far Place
142(1)
Freedom
142(1)
People Who Went By in Winter
143(1)
Witness
144(1)
A Song in the Manner of Flannery O'Connor
144(1)
Juncos
145(4)
Why the Sun Comes Up 149(38)
FROM Smoke's Way (1983)
149(6)
Storm Warning
149(1)
R(X) Creative Writing: Identity
149(1)
Survival
150(1)
The Coyote in the Zoo
150(1)
The Indian Cave Jerry Ramsey Found
151(1)
Meditation
151(1)
West of Here
151(1)
Many Things Are Hidden by the Light
152(1)
Cave Painting
152(1)
By the Deschutes Shore
153(1)
Gutters of Jackson: Cache Street North
153(1)
Assurance
153(1)
Looking for You
154(1)
Smoke
154(1)
FROM My Name Is William Tell (1992)
155(11)
My Name Is William Tell
155(1)
At Lascaux
155(1)
They Carved an Animal
156(1)
Coyote
156(1)
Inheriting the Earth: Quail
157(1)
Roll Call
157(1)
.38
158(1)
Together Again
158(1)
Stereopticon
159(1)
Why I Am a Poet
159(1)
Atwater Kent
160(1)
That Year
160(1)
In Hurricane Canyon
161(1)
Widow
161(1)
Vocatus atque Non Vocatus
162(1)
One Man
163(1)
At Fort Worden: Calling Names
163(1)
Dropout
164(1)
Some Remarks When Richard Hugo Came
164(1)
A Wind from a Wing
165(1)
The Gift
165(1)
FROM Even in Quiet Places (1996)
166(11)
History Display
166(1)
Spirit of Place: Great Blue Heron
167(1)
Over in Montana
167(1)
A Farewell, Age Ten
168(1)
Old Prof
168(1)
Poetry
169(1)
In The Book
169(1)
Grace Abounding
170(1)
Men
171(1)
Distractions
171(1)
In the All-Verbs Navaho World
172(1)
Malheur before Dawn
172(1)
For Our Party Last Night
173(1)
Watching Sandhill Cranes
173(1)
Freedom of Expression
174(1)
Cottonwood
174(1)
Influential Writers
175(1)
Is This Feeling about the West Real?
175(1)
What Gets Away
176(1)
Selections from other volumes (1980-93)
177(10)
Why the Sun Comes Up
177(1)
Through the Junipers
177(1)
Address to the Senior Class
178(1)
Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing
178(1)
Learning, Any Time
179(1)
It Still Happens Now
180(1)
Key of C--An Interlude for Marvin
180(1)
Before It Burned Over: A Sioux Grass Chant
181(1)
Objector
181(1)
Living on the Plains [1990]
182(1)
American Gothic
182(1)
Biography
183(1)
For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid
183(1)
Over the Mountains
184(3)
How These Words Happened 187
FROM A Glass Face in the Rain (1982)
187(21)
How It Began
187(1)
Tuned In Late One Night
187(1)
Friends
188(1)
Looking across the River
188(1)
Our Cave
189(1)
Not Very Loud
190(1)
Maybe
190(1)
How It Is
191(1)
In a Corner
191(1)
Remembering
192(1)
A Glass Face in the Rain
192(1)
Yellow Cars
193(1)
My Life
193(1)
A Message from Space
194(1)
After Arguing against the Contention That Art Must Come from Discontent
194(1)
A Course in Creative Writing
195(1)
Things I Learned Last Week
195(1)
Incident
196(1)
Fiction
197(1)
Our Kind
197(1)
A Catechism
198(1)
School Days
198(1)
We Interrupt to Bring You
199(1)
My Mother Was a Soldier
200(1)
When You Go Anywhere
200(1)
Once in the 40s
201(1)
Around You, Your House
201(1)
Ruby Was Her Name
202(1)
Letting You Go
202(1)
Troubleshooting
203(1)
Remembering Brother Bob
203(1)
Places with Meaning
204(1)
With Neighbors One Afternoon
205(1)
A Journey
205(1)
Friends, Farewell
206(1)
If I Could Be Like Wallace Stevens
206(1)
Salvaged Parts
207(1)
One Time
207(1)
Pegleg Lookout
208(1)
FROM An Oregon Message (1987)
208(23)
Keeping a Journal
208(1)
First Grade
209(1)
A Life, a Ritual
209(1)
Surrounded by Mountains
210(1)
Little Rooms
210(1)
The Big House
211(1)
Next Time
211(1)
Burning a Book
212(1)
Thinking about Being Called Simple by a Critic
213(1)
Serving with Gideon
213(1)
Ground Zero [December 1982]
214(1)
Looking for Gold
214(1)
Stillborn
215(1)
Honeysuckle
215(1)
School Play
216(1)
A Ceremony: Doing the Needful
216(1)
For the Unknown Enemy
217(1)
Being an American
217(1)
Over the North Jetty
218(1)
Waiting in Line
218(1)
An Oregon Message
219(1)
Why I Am Happy
220(1)
Final Exam: American Renaissance
220(1)
Purifying the Language of the Tribe
221(1)
Starting with Little Things
221(1)
Ultimate Problems
222(1)
When I Met My Muse
222(1)
Ghalib Decides to Be Reticent
223(1)
The Sparkle Depends on Flaws in the Diamond
223(1)
Ode to Garlic
224(1)
Turn Over Your Hand
224(1)
1932
225(1)
1940
225(1)
108 East Nineteenth
226(1)
Mother's Day
226(1)
A Memorial for My Mother
227(1)
How It Is with Family
228(1)
Saint Matthew and All
228(1)
Run before Dawn
229(1)
By a River in the Osage Country
229(1)
Arrival
230(1)
FROM Passwords (1991)
231
Dedications / Pledges / Commitments
231(1)
Story Time
231(1)
The Way I Write
232(1)
Reading with Little Sister: A Recollection
233(1)
The Day Millicent Found the World
233(1)
News Every Day
234(1)
An Afternoon in the Stacks
235(1)
Paso por Aqui
235(1)
Old Blue
236(1)
An Archival Print
236(1)
The Trouble with Reading
237(1)
The Dream of Now
237(1)
Atavism
238(1)
Trying to Tell It
239(1)
Remarks on My Character
239(1)
You Don't Know the End
240(1)
Different Things
241(1)
The Light by the Barn
241(1)
Five A.M.
242(1)
Climbing along the River
242(1)
Ground Zero [June 1982]
243(1)
Network
243(1)
For a Lost Child
244(1)
Consolations
244(1)
Security
245(1)
Long Distance
245(2)
Your Life
247(1)
Yes
247(1)
What's in My Journal
248(1)
Merci Beaucoup
248(1)
Young
249(1)
Life Work
250(1)
In Camp
250(1)
Something to Declare
251(1)
How These Words Happened
251(1)
The Size of a Fist
252(1)
Vita
252
Editing This Book: An Afterword
Index of Titles
Index of First Lines

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