sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 2, 2014

bloggers’ silent poetry reading: william stafford
posted by soe 11:33 pm

This weekend marked the ninth annual Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading in honor of St. Brigid, patron saint of poetry. You can find links to other poems on the festival’s Facebook page.

I wanted a poem filled with fury, roaring against constraints, but couldn’t find any, or maybe I just didn’t look hard enough. Instead, I offer you up this instead, which is maybe what I needed even more:

What’s in My Journal
   by William Stafford

Odd things, like a button drawer. Mean
things, fishhooks, barbs in your hand.
But marbles too. A genius for being agreeable.
Junkyard crucifixes, voluptuous
discards. Space for knickknacks, and for
Alaska. Evidence to hang me, or to beatify.
Clues that lead nowhere, that never connected
anyway. Deliberate obfuscation, the kind
that takes genius. Chasms in character.
Loud omissions. Mornings that yawn above
a new grave. Pages you know exist
but you can’t find them. Someone’s terribly
inevitable life story, maybe mine.

“Space for knickknacks, and for Alaska…”
“Chasms in character…”

I love that.

In previous years, I have shared poems by Mary Oliver (twice), Wislawa Szymborska, Stuart Dischell, Jean Esteve, John Frederick Nims, Grace Paley, Heather McHugh, and Barbara Hamby, all of which I stand by as solid choices.

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