Friday, November 09, 2007

Thoughts on a Friday--

WILLIAM STAFFORD
_______________________________________________
Morning Poems--

I like it when poets wake up and write a poem first thing in the morning. This isn't me. But I like poets who do that.

Have you read EARLY MORNING: REMEMBERING MY FATHER by Kim Stafford? I enjoyed it. William Stafford awoke at 4 or 5 and wrote until 7ish. He wrote until the rest of the house woke up and then he knew he had his writing in for the day. If I awoke and went to the couch to write for 3 hours, I would find myself asleep on the couch. I'm a noctural writer myself.

*

BIOS

Anyway, back to biographies. Of course, I love biographies of poets. If you haven't read POETS IN THEIR YOUTH by Eileen Simpson (John Berryman's wife) you should. I also recommend SAVAGE BEAUTY about Edna St. Vincent Millay until about 75% through and then it seems it is less about poetry and more about the other things that take us down.

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Christmas Shopping--

Every year I try to support poets (and writers) by giving the gift of their books. I also like to give a bottle of wine & a poetry book as a host/hostess gift.

I have already purchased 3 poetry books, but I cannot say which ones in case the givee is reading this.

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Overhead--

Yesterday I overheard three women talking about how terrible the world was--"Did you hear about the kids shooting each other in White Center? And that woman who is missing?"

I wanted to tell them, the world is not as bad as the news would want us to believe it is. I recently heard a woman say that she's not concerned that her children are going to mistake cartoons or video games for reality. She said, "I'm more concerned they are going to watch the news and think that's real."

Infotainment, I tell you. If I hear the term "Superbug" again, I'm going to have to create my own comic book where a beetle jumps out of a phone booth wearing an S on its chest. Faster than a speeding bullet...

*

Poem of the day by William Stafford:


"Are you Mr. William Stafford?"
"Yes, but...."


Well, it was yesterday.
Sunlight used to follow my hand.
And that's when the strange siren-like sound flooded
over the horizon and rushed through the streets of our town.
That's when sunlight came from behind
a rock and began to follow my hand.

"It's for the best," my mother said—"Nothing can
ever be wrong for anyone truly good."
So later the sun settled back and the sound
faded and was gone. All along the streets every
house waited, white, blue, gray: trees
were still trying to arch as far as they could.

You can't tell when strange things with meaning
will happen. I'm still here writing it down
just the way it was. "You don't have to
prove anything," my mother said. "Just be ready
for what God sends." I listened and put my hand
out in the sun again. It was all easy.

Well, it was yesterday. And the sun came,
Why
It came.

—William Stafford

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