“There are rooms in a life, apart from others, rich
with whatever happens, a glimpse of moon, a breeze.
You who come years from now to this brief spell
of nothing that was mine: the open, slow passing
of time was a gift going by. I have put my hand out
on the mane of the wind, like this, to give it to you.”
— from Little Rooms by William Stafford
Today marks the centennial of the birth of this poet, pacifist, and Oregon Poet Laureate from 1975-1989 and launches a year of commemoration in honor of our state’s most celebrated poet. The Oregon Library Association has dedicated its “Oregon Reads 2014” statewide program to Stafford’s body of work and invites libraries and organizations throughout Oregon to join together in reading, discussing, and examining the life and philosophy of this remarkable man. Here at Cedar Mill, we’ll start with a birthday party. If you love poetry, please join the library’s poetry group on Saturday January 25th, at 10:00 AM in the library’s upstairs community room. Read and listen to samples of Stafford’s poetry while you enjoy coffee, tea, and birthday cake provided by the library.
The lines above are from a poem called “Little Rooms” (An Oregon Message, William Stafford, Harper & Row, 1987) and are some of my personal favorites among Stafford’s memorable verses. What are your favorite Stafford poems? Please share – we’d love to hear from you. ~Lynne