An Oregon Message

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9780060962135: An Oregon Message
From Publishers Weekly:

In a prefatory note to his eighth volume of poetry, Stafford hints at his unusual mode of composition: "Each poem is a miracle that has been invited to happen . . . a gift, a surprise that emerges as itself." This method accounts for the quirkiness, the spontaneous freshness that mark his work. The worth of his poems depends, as he implies in "When I Met My Muse," solely on a certain way of looking at things. Small and modest, his poems are more moments, brilliant apercus, sketches of imaginative possibilities than formal, programmatic verse. Everything and anything sparks hima memory, an object, a fleeting idea, an event. These sparks come to life as stories, comments, meditations, extended mysterious metaphors, like a display case filled with marvelous whatnots and curiosities gathered together over a lifetime. Their subjective randomness is just another tribute to what this poet calls "the grace of it all": "I laugh/ and cry for every turn of the world,/ its terribly cold, innocent spin."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In this eighth collection, Stafford describes his poems as "organically grown," employing no artifice to enhance their freshness, no pretense to perfect form. Plain-spoken, unadorned, they spring unmistakably from American soil, like the consciousness that created them. But "simple" Stafford's poems are not, unless it is the clarity of their message: human frailty engenders the need for peace and forgiveness. Stafford is the natural ally of the powerless, those whom society routinely ignores. "You the very old, I have come/ to the edge of your country and looked across, . . . / Every day, every evening, every/ abject step or stumble has become heroic." Highly recommended. Lisa Mullenneaux, Iowa City, Ia.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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