Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Legacy of An Oregon Poet Extraordinaire

I met Oregon poet William Stafford several years ago at a men's gathering in Portland. Robert Bly had invited him to join us for an afternoon. Seeing and hearing the two poets read their poems together was quite the scene in a room crowded with over 100 men ranging in age from early 20's to late 70's. That day was the beginning of my love for the poetry of the greatest poet Oregon has ever had (in my humble opinion).

Over the years, I've read most all of Stafford's poems as well as several books about him and his work. After his death, I joined Friends of William Stafford and have participated in a number of readings done locally each year on the occasion of his birthday in January. (NOTE: The birthday reading in Eugene will be on Sunday, Jan. 28 at Tsunami Books for 2 - 4 p.m.).

In the current newsletter from Friends, I came across Stafford's "The Way It Is" poem (from his book by the same name) which is one of my favorites. The poem was recently inscribed in a stone placed in the new Stafford Commons (2nd Ave. & B St.) in the poet's adopted home town of Lake Oswego, Oregon. Here's a link to the short poem:

The Way It Is -- William Stafford

Are you aware of the "thread" in your life? Is it at the heart of your life legacy? Something to ponder during this new year ... and the rest of your life.

May you be blessed in 2007 with life experiences that create the legacy you desire!
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