Even in Quiet Places

Even in Quiet Places

by William Stafford
     
 

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Ninety poems gathered from four privately printed limited editions are now available to the general public. Stafford's poems demonstrate his profound understanding of freedom and social justice while showing us ways to establish harmony in our own lives. See more details below

Overview

Ninety poems gathered from four privately printed limited editions are now available to the general public. Stafford's poems demonstrate his profound understanding of freedom and social justice while showing us ways to establish harmony in our own lives.

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by his daughter (and literary executor), Kim, gathers work from My Name Is William Tell (LJ 7/92), as well as the unpublished "Methow River poems."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.
Ray Olson
Regardless whether this is the last "new" collection from Stafford (191493), it well demonstrates qualities that made him genuinely beloved by his admirers. His fellow "deep image" poet Robert Bly notes in his new "Sibling Society" that Stafford was a Christian, which for Stafford involved being a pacifist, an egalitarian, a regionalist, an everyday ecologist, a man who believed in helping a person when help was needed. His poems are about his own quiet experiences and knowledge. They are often written in the second person ("you" have, "you" are, etc.), a manner that in most poets is annoyingly familiar and abstract at the same time but which Stafford makes personal and concrete: the poet is talking to himself, and because the images are so palpable and the ideas so wise, the reader easily becomes the companionable "you" and often proceeds to full identification. Stafford then forcibly projects the reader into the great world, for there are few contemporary poets more capable of dissolving the bounds between human consciousness and the spirit in all things.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781881090199
Publisher:
Confluence Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/2010
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.68(w) x 8.72(h) x 0.63(d)

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