Friday, February 27, 2009

Yet Another Call to Now


My blogging is off schedule, as I am thick into several projects these days.   Amidst it, I've been reading a book by Kim Stafford, Early Morning. Kim Stafford is the son of poet William Stafford, and his book is a rich narrative of the very complex relationship between the two writers. I am enjoying it no end.  

Sometime next week I'll write much more about Kim Stafford's book, but for today, I give you a particularly buoyant poem by his father, William Stafford. He is one of my absolute favorite poets, because so many of his poems sing as well as this one:



You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened 
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry 
whereever you go right now? Are you waiting 
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening 
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life--

What can anyone give you greater than now, 
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

William Stafford, from The Way It Is


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4 comments:

Lydia said...

This is great! I did not know the relationship of Kim Stafford to the great one.
I posted about William Stafford here on Valentine's Day, which is also Oregon's birthday, and he wrote a poem I much admire about Oregon......

The Storialist said...

This is a stunning poem, and smile-worthy!

I haven't heard of that book before. I 'll have to check it out...

susan said...

I hope you're still enjoying it. The poem is beautiful.

Hilary said...

This is a very timely poem for me to read right now (no pun intended), as I've been so introspective about the passage of time. I turned 39 and a HALF on Friday, and I'm having such a hard time with the concept that time is passing. Not that I'm getting older -- not that I'm happy about that, cuz that's a whole 'nother megilla -- but literally the passing of time. Time has always fascinated me, upset me, confounded me. I need to focus more ont he present and not fixate so much on the past that is gone or the fact that the future will soon BE the past that is gone. It's important to remember the NOW.

 
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