Poetry Friday: Remembering William Stafford


Thank you, Tara, for hosting Poetry Friday today.


Often a crumb on my plate at the last
looks at me. On my tongue like a snowflake
it melts for awhile– and splendor discovers
itself in this world out of such quiet things.
Those times, anything breathed on or thought
about, even for an instant, is bread.

At the corner just below the streetlight
theres a branch twisted by the wind. Surround
by darkness, hardly surviving that branch
waits to wave in its yellow cone
when anyone passes and looks up. For years,
it lives by such notice, eyes and the sun.

Strange–things neglected begin to appeal
to a part inside us. It is call the soul.
These times, it lives on less and less.

–William Stafford
Poetry Magazine, October/November 1987

Notice is a favorite word. And that last stanza grabs my heart. It’s been a week. I needed some Stafford to lift me up.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

4 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Remembering William Stafford

  1. I shared a Stafford poem today, too, Jone. He’s given us such wonders to contemplate. Love “splendor discovers/itself in this world out of such quiet things.” Indeed!

  2. I love this poem. Notice is my OLW this year. It is amazing how poetry can do just what you say, “lift (us) up.”

  3. Jone, I’ve been thinking about the small things in life that I’ve noticed in the past with disregard for the joy they can contribute. This poem gives me pause to rethink noticing. Thank you for this reflective poem to start my day.

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