Poetry Friday: Saying a Name

As part of my month-long celebration of William Stafford, I re-read a chapter on writing poetry in Writing the Australian Crawl: Views on the Writer’s Vocation by Stafford.

What I found were a selection of poems at the end of the chapter in which Stafford said the following about them; “These poems. I found, already illustrated points I hadn’t yet thought of when I wrote them.

Saying a Name

Someone the far side of Neahkhanie Mountain
pronounces the name. Clouds come over
for the autumn visit again.
Every summer we try to look away,
to leave the mountain alone. Things
we don’t say begin to belong-live
as the days move, lie on the sand. The blue
sky touches far, forgotten waves.

Then someone looks up. It always happens,
as it should, for the world, and the gray comes back,
saving the deep floating tops of the trees,
and the rocks lower down, and saving the reckless
people who glance too high for so late
a time, and forget, and pronounce a name.

–William Stafford, Writing the Australia Crawl

Point of reference:  Neahkhanie Mountain is located on the Oregon coast near Manzanita. Legend has it that there is buried treasure on the mountain.

Poetry Friday is at Laura Salas: Writing the World for Kids.  Thanks, Laura.

Happy Friday.

Happy Reading.



3 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Saying a Name

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I think we give things too much power when we DON’T name them, when we let them hang overhead, that towering mountain we try not to look at. It’s a breath of fresh air when someone names it and we see it and evaluate its place/role in a new way.

    Love the deep floating tops of the trees!

Comments are closed.