January 17, 2010

William Stafford birthday

Today is the birthday of Church of the Brethren poet William Stafford, (books by this author) born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914. Among his best-known books are The Rescued Year (1966), Stories That Could Be True: New and Collected Poems (1977), and Traveling Through the Dark (1962). He taught for many years at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon.

Stafford usually wrote in the early morning. He sat down with a pen and paper, took a look out the window, and waited for something to occur to him. He wrote, "In the winter, in the dark hours, when others / were asleep, I found these words and put them / together by their appetites and respect for / each other. In stillness, they jostled. They traded / meanings while pretending to have only one."

Adapted from "The Writer's Almanac"