Poetry William Stafford Passwords

ISBN 13: 9780060965877

Passwords

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9780060965877: Passwords
From Publishers Weekly:

This is a multifaceted collection, full of wry observations and pregnant musings, the products of a prodigious imagination that transforms all it perceives into verse that speaks eloquently of the concerns of our material and spiritual lives. The subject of these poems is the resonance of everyday events, both large and small. Of a book he recently has finished reading, the poet proclaims, "the rumor / of it will haunt all that follows in my life." Walking in the woods, he feels "the centuries ripple--generations / of wandering, discovering, being lost / and found." The loss of a child brings an awareness of death's isolation: "Nowhere now, you call through every storm, / a voice that wanders without a home." Stafford finds refuge from life's nasty weather on hidden "islands," the significant "intervals allowed, moment by moment, lost / in the large parade of days." Ultimately, these are poems of hope, uttered with the confidence of one who has braved the "tumble" of the "wide unbroken seap 65 ." Stafford ( An Oregon Message ) offers his wisdom in clear, concise language, a "program of passwords" that gives the reader faith in the beauty and love inherent in each brief moment.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

A Stafford poem is deceptively plain. Like a walk through the forest, it "strokes your fur,/ the fur you no longer have." Indeed, this poet can't help being reminded by the natural world that nourishes him of his provisional and transient presence in it: "a birthday is when you might not have been born." This theme in particular--what Richard Howard calls "a fidelity to failure, a submission to his own exile" in Alone in America (1971)--is carried into old age where "you have always wanted more than the earth;/ now you have it. You turn to the young./ They do not understand." This is the ninth volume of poems from this Oregonian, now in his 70s. Although it does not include his best work, it will appeal in its moving, unsentimental rendering of nature and human nature, as in this poem about a trapped badger: "I offered the end of a stick near the lowered head:/ . . . and four long grooves appeared on that hard wood." Recommended.
- Ellen Kaufman, Dewey Ballantine Law Lib., New York
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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