William Stafford

A casual accounting, more or less

  A Country Epitaph by William Stafford   I am the man who plunged through a river to save his dog; who failed my parents, though; who forgot my grief, and sang.   Outside your light I stand. I appeal through careless words, I appeal by this casual stone: Was there more I could have […]


Gold to silver, doors to fences

My eighth grade year was the Bicentennial year, and to celebrate our class put on a play. Our ever-enthusiastic music teacher Mrs. Enright put together a musical revue of U.S. history. The only part of the play I remember was singing the give-me-your-tired-your-poor portion of Emma Lazarus’ “New Colossus.” I can still sing it today, […]


A peaceful day on the National Mall

At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border by William Stafford This is the field where the battle did not happen, where the unknown soldier did not die. This is the field where grass joined hands, where no monument stands, and the only heroic thing is the sky. Birds fly here without any sound, unfolding […]