Poetry Friday: William Stafford’s The Trouble with Reading

Sunday, January 17,  is William Stafford’s birthday. Throughout the Portland area readings are taking place:

+Saturday, January 16th, 3-5 pm, Holy Names Heritage Center, 17425 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego.
+Sunday, January 17th, 7-9 pm, Writers’ Dojo, 7518 N. Chicago Avenue, Portland
+Monday, January 18th, 10 pm, KBOO Radio, 90.7 FM.
+Wednesday, January 20th, 7:30 pm, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland.
+Wednesday, January 20th, 7 pm, 100th Monkey Studio and Gallery, 110 SE 16th Avenue, Portland
+Thursday, January 21st, 7 pm, Lake Oswego Library, 706 4th St., Lake Oswego. “The Intersection of Poetry and Popular Culture, in the Spirit of William Stafford.”
+Thursday, January 21st, 7-8:30 pm. The Terrace Room (beneath the Commons), University of Portland, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland.
+Friday, January 22nd, 7-9 p.m., Eliot Chapel, First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Avenue (corner of 12th and Salmon), Portland.
+Saturday, January 23rd, 2 pm, Vancouver Community Library, 1007 East Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA. Hosted by Elizabeth Barton.
+Thursday, January 28th, 7 pm, Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Portland.
+Thursday, January 28th, 7 pm, Branford P. Millar Library, Portland State University, 1875 Park Avenue (Park & Hall), Portland.
+Saturday, January 30th, 4-6 pm, Looking Glass Book Store, 7983 SE 13th Ave., Portland (new Sellwood location). Hosted by Robin Bagai and Willa Schneberg.
+Saturday, January 30th, 2 pm, Oregon City Library, 362 Warner Milne Road, Oregon City. This event will be part of the Oregon City Library’s 100th year celebration.
+Sunday, January 31st, 2 pm, Multnomah Central Library, US Bank Room, 801 SW 10th Ave.,
+Sunday, January 31st, 2 pm, Hillsboro Main Library, 2850 NE Brookwood Parkway, Hillsboro.

 Today I bring you one of my favorite poems of his:

The Trouble with Reading

When a goat likes a book, the whole book is gone,
And the meaning has to go find an author again.
But when we read, its just print – deciphering,
Like frost on a window: we learn the meaning
But lose what the frost is, and all that the world
Pressed so desperately behind

So some time let’s discover how the ink
Feels, to be clutching all that eternity onto
Page after page. But maybe it is better not
To know; ignorance, that wide country,
Rewards you just to accept it. You plunge;
It holds you. And you have to become a rich darkness.

– William Stafford

Thank you, Mr. Stafford, for all the poems you left the world to read.  Poetry Friday is rounded up at Great Kid Books.  Thank you, Mary Ann.

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