Poetry Friday: Ask Me by William Stafford

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Poetry Friday is being held at Reading to the Core.

Throughout Oregon this month, there have been reading of William Stafford’s poems. It’s his birthday month.  One of my favorite pomes is “Ask Me.”  I share it today remembering how lucky I was to know this man.

Ask Me by William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

 

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10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Ask Me by William Stafford

  1. You knew William Stafford! That is quite wonderful, Jone. On this birth-day, I guess it is time for reflection, and Stafford, in this slow thoughtful way, wrote a poem of reflection. Nice to read! Happy Birthday!

    • He was a professor at my college. Have taken several classes from his son, Kim, who is an amazing poet as well. His memoir about his dad, Early Morning is fabulous.

  2. He was a professor at my college. Have taken several classes from his son, Kim, who is an amazing poet as well. His memoir about his dad, Early Morning is fabulous.

  3. Wow! How lucky you were to have had classes with William Stafford!
    I love the paradox of these lines:

    there
    are comings and goings from miles away
    that hold the stillness exactly before us.

    So thought-provoking!

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