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Even in Quiet Places

Overview

This book brings together four privately printed chapbooks and offers them to the general public in one volume. All the poems are in William Stafford's familiar, reflective voice, and some had been freshly typed at the time of Stafford's death in August of 1993. The book is hospitable to a full range of experiences, moods, stunts with language, tones, expressive landmarks, and intimacies with the universe. Long considered a major voice in twentieth century American poetry, William Stafford is also one of our ...

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Overview

This book brings together four privately printed chapbooks and offers them to the general public in one volume. All the poems are in William Stafford's familiar, reflective voice, and some had been freshly typed at the time of Stafford's death in August of 1993. The book is hospitable to a full range of experiences, moods, stunts with language, tones, expressive landmarks, and intimacies with the universe. Long considered a major voice in twentieth century American poetry, William Stafford is also one of our nation's most popular poets.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This first volume since Stafford's death three years ago at age 79 gathers works of four chapbooks published between 1990 and 1993. Stafford's second book of poems, Traveling through the Dark, won a National Book Award in 1962. Through 50 books in 30 years his themes and style matured with no major course changes. In the poems gathered here, he recalls the past, his childhood and family: "Those bells in the heart, that dulcimer,/ and the days walking beside you, their glances/ level, equal-permanent moments..." He writes of rocks, birds, trees, dreams, his pacifism and American heritage, using reflection on the natural world and the present moment in it to illuminate an understanding of a larger condition: "-this tranquil/ chaos that seems to be going somewhere./ This wilderness with a great peacefulness in it./ This motionless turmoil, this everything dance." The title of this accomplished collection is drawn from a series of "poetry highway signs" written for the U.S. Forest Service: "Water likes to sing. If you leave it alone,/ even in quiet places, it'll talk a little/ to itself..." Stafford's poetry urges us to listen. (May)
Library Journal
Though born in Kansas, Stafford (1914-93), a lifetime pacifist and much-honored poet, is associated with the Pacific Northwest. This selection, with a thoughtful afterword by his daughter (and literary executor), Kim, gathers work from My Name Is William Tell (LJ 7/92), as well as the unpublished "Methow River poems." These final serene poems, about selfhood and journeys into time, document Stafford's insight into underappreciated "little lives." A major contribution to 20th-century American poetry, his work transforms "commonest things" into universal truth. Highly recommended.Frank Allen, North Hampton Comm. Coll., Tannersville, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781881090168
  • Publisher: Confluence Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 8.39 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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