Monday, November 30, 2015

William Stafford: "Earth Dweller"

It was all the clods at once become
precious; it was the barn, and the shed,
and the windmill, my hands, the crack
Arlie made in the ax handle: oh, let me stay
here humbly, forgotten, to rejoice in it all;
let the sun casually rise and set.
If I have not found the right place,
teach me; for, somewhere inside, the clods are
vaulted mansions, lines through the barn sing
for the saints forever, the shed and windmill
rear so glorious the sun shudders like a gong.

Now I know why people worship, carry around
magic emblems, wake up talking dreams
they teach to their children: the world speaks.
The world speaks everything to us.
It is our only friend.

"Earth Dweller" by William Stafford. Text as published in The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 1998).

Art credit: "Windmill Against a Dramatic Prairie Sky," photograph by mavis.

1 comment :

  1. The poem is a good example of Stanley Kunitz's definition of what poetry is: Mythologic, metaphoric and metabolic. But it's also ecological, emotional, spiritual, transcendent and utterly Stafford!


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