Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-1947

Overview

The unpublished early poems of William Stafford now added to "a body of work that represents some of the finest poetry written during the second half of [the twentieth] century." (Library Journal)

If I could remember all at once?but I have forgotten.

But some day, looking along a furrowed cliff, staring

beyond the eyes' strength, I'll start ...

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Overview

The unpublished early poems of William Stafford now added to "a body of work that represents some of the finest poetry written during the second half of [the twentieth] century." (Library Journal)

If I could remember all at once—but I have forgotten.

But some day, looking along a furrowed cliff, staring

beyond the eyes' strength, I'll start the avalanche and every stone will fall separate and revealed.

—from "Meditation"

Twenty-eight years old and a conscientious objector during World War II, William Stafford was assigned under penalty of law to work in camps, an internal exile within his own country. In this remarkable collection of poems, nearly all of them never before published, the first decade of Stafford's writing life is for the first time made available to readers. Edited by the poet Fred Marchant, one of the first marine officers honorably discharged as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Another World Instead tells the story of a committed pacifist living in a time of war and a writer beginning a major life in American poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"William Stafford's quiet presence in the landscape of American poetry in my lifetime has been a kind of continuing reassurance whose value always seemed to me beyond question." —W. S. MERWIN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555974978
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,062,538
  • Product dimensions: 6.71 (w) x 8.91 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

William Stafford (1914–93) was the author of more than fifty books, including Traveling Through the Dark, winner of the National Book Award, and The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Fred Marchant

For Poems—'42 and '43

1937-1941

White Pigeons

To Schumann-Heink

Purpose

Subject and Background

Communication from a Wanderer

I. Report of Kansas in Winter

II. Report of the Nation Forest

III. Report of the Southeast

IV. Final Report

From the Sound of Peace

Discovery Home Town

Women of Kansas

Observation

1942-1945

At Roll Call

Event

A Vine

Buzzards over Arkansas

Inspirational Talk

Escape Artist

CO Park Project

Friend Sky

"Their voices were stilled . . ."

Exile [I]

Exile [II]

The Prisoner

Week End in Santa Barbara

Stranger

"Time fills the canyon . . ."

Los Prietos [I]

The Country of Thin Mountains

Dark-Browed Rough Pacifist

Director

Discovery [II]

Los Prietos [II]

The Way Men Walk

Night Sound

Rebels

Breath

Incident

Snow

CO's Work on Mountain Road

Dar Down, A River

"They say sound is the war . . ."

Search

Meditation

Tragedy

Walking at Night

"We call it the chaparral . . ."

Here, Now

Apology

Prison Camp

"While we sat on the lawn . . ."

"I was there when it happened . . ."

Family Statement

Current

Like Whitman

Easy

Nocturne [I]

"spoke about sacrifice . . ."

"Your tragedy before the ship goes down . . ."

"I do not know how that fine dust rises . . ."

More Than Bread

"Shall we have that singing . . ."

These Mornings

Speech from a Play

Nocturne [II]

Christmas Comes but Once a Year

Immediate

War Guilt

Fate

Devotion To a Gold Star Mother

At a Little Church

"You might as well put . . ."

"The One who said 'No violence' . . ."

Counsel

Fire in Lava Country

"It's an old story . . ."

We Kindred

Home

Little Sermon

Isaiah, ‘44

"They taught me to be hurt . . ."

A Posy

"They flawed when struck . . ."

Listening

Speech from the Big Play

One Place I Saw

Before the Big Storm

"Unto a great great deaf mountain . . ."

The Tall Animals

Footnote

Travel Report: 1945

All White

Chicago Bridge, Evening

"That land spoke . . ."

Listener

Flickerings

"I had forgotten the clown . . ."

The War Season

Translation from the Yaqui

Twelve Years Old

The Midgets of War

Mr. Conscience

Nine-Year’s Dream

"The first thing that grows . . ."

The Sound: Summer, 1945

Victory

"A note on solemn war . . ."

On Attending a Militaristic Church Service

Nine Years Old

CO Week End

"Over the Candle we looked at us . . ."

Assay

Review

Note

1946-1947

Return "I thought they shouldn't turn the light so low . . ."

Easy Art

"They listened to him say his creed . . ."

To Those among Us Who Will Be Wise, and Know

Deep Listening

"You dropped into my morning . . ."

Campanile

Two Bits Worth

"When I walked along the earth . . ."

So Long

Human Song

Occurrences

"All around the biggest bay . . ."

Demolition Project

Foundations

Home Town from the Flyer

"While one bird bears the noon . . ."

Like Ours

Humanity in the Service

The Arrow Maker

Muttered Creed

Country Boy at College—Postwar

Members of the Kingdom

Night Words

Smoke Trees

At the Salt Marsh

Those Few

Super Market

Possession

Veteran

"There in the deep room . . ."

Beginning of Hostilities

Two Kinds of Faith

"Your tears fell on my eyes . . ."

Who Blow

A Leader I Met

The Materials

Faint Message

Relic

Every Breakfast

Storm Warning

The Verdict

Graduate Work

Sub-urban

Postwar Niblets

Inside Engines

Too Big

Faith

Outside

The Myth of the Windblown Hair

The Right Thing

It Was This Way

Credentials

Walking Papers

Ruminations: Noon

Rebel Telling You

From the Back Row

Wind Gift

"A million explosions went out . . ."

[Coda: a Dedication]

Notes

Acknowledgments

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