Tag Archives: Poetry

Citizen Rankine

As much as I love losing myself in a good story, I have to admit that my favorite books are the ones that send me out of the text and back into the world for further exploration. I read a lot of non-fiction, so I’ve developed the habit of keeping a notebook handy for scribbling down names to Google, URLs to explore, topics to research, and–perhaps inevitably–titles of additional books for the TBR list.

This hardly ever happens with a volume of poetry. Not because poetry doesn’t teach me things, but because the things poetry has to teach are usually personal and private. As I’ve recently learned, however, poetry can also be an interdisciplinary textbook; the class I’m currently taking could be called Civics 101, and the teacher is Claudia Rankine.

Image taken from The Hairsplitter - click through to read Jeremy Allen Hawkins's review of Citizen.

Image taken from The Hairsplitter – click through to read Jeremy Allen Hawkins’s review of Citizen.

Rankine is a poet, playwright, and scholar whose body of work demands not only private introspection, but also your full attention to and engagement with the world around you. Her epic prose poem Citizen, a 2014 National Book Award finalist,  is rooted firmly in current events, comparing them to and contrasting them with her own lived experience to create a ruthlessly honest exploration of black American citizenship in the 21st century. And if that were all it did, it would still be an amazing piece of work.

However, the reader is challenged, at just about every turn, to go the extra mile, to look up that unfamiliar YouTube series, to track down the Situation videos (created by Rankine and her husband, photographer John Lucas) mentioned throughout the text. Whose quotation is that? What is this un-captioned photo all about? Who created the artwork featured here? You cannot, in good conscience, not look these things up as you read, and the resource list Rankine provides is only the beginning of inquiry. At least, for me: my own citizenship seemed to be at risk, considering how ignorant I was of some of Rankine’s references.

Image created by Letra Chueca Press for Reed College - click through for source page.

Image created by Letra Chueca Press for Reed College – click through for source page.

Educational as they are, however, the seven sections that make up Citizen are hardly didactic in the traditional sense. Straightforward narrations of events are broken up with passages of pure longing, in which the speaker reveals portions of her inner landscape, the one the external world hasn’t been able to touch:

Words work as release–well-oiled doors opening and closing between intention, gesture. A pulse in the neck, the shiftiness of the hands, an unconscious blink, the conversations you have with your eyes translate everything and nothing. What will be needed, what goes unfelt, unsaid–what has been duplicated, redacted here, redacted there, altered to hide or disguise–words encoding the bodies they cover. And despite everything, the body remains (69).

The language of poetry, Rankine seems to say here, is what makes it possible to be human, to achieve, despite obstacles, full citizenship.

If you’re the kind of reader who would like to try poetry, but is often put off by obtuse language and a lack of connection to reality, Citizen will serve as a breath of exhilarating air. If current events have made you twitchy lately, and you need a literary remedy that is both consolation and call to action, this, too, is your book. And if you’re honor-bound to read all award-nominated books, you should definitely move this poem up on your TBR list. There’s a waiting list at the moment, but if you hurry, you won’t have to wait too long for your choice of print or ebook.

Leigh Anne

anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rankine’s next book, Racial Imaginary (with Beth Loffreda).

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Jim Daniels & Heather McNaugher: Saturday Poets-In-Person

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Ever wonder about poetry up close and personal? Poems by poets in touch with the everyday, the stuff of which real lives are made?

Wonder no more. Come on out and see poetry, yup, up close and personal, at the Carnegie Library in Oakland, with two poets firmly grounded in the real.

For the third in our Saturday Poets in Person series of readings focusing on well-known local poets, Jim Daniels and Heather McNaugher will be our featured readers. The program will be on Saturday, February 21st, at 3 pm at Carnegie Library Main in Oakland. The reading will be in the Lecture Hall, between the parking lot and the Library’s main entrance.

Jim Daniels is a poet of both local and national renown. His work has been in the annual Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies and he has been the recipient of the Brittingham Prize for Poetry and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Daniels’ poetry often champions blue collar life and work. The critic Tim Ross described Daniels’ work as follows: “Stylistically, throughout his career he has always found a way to combine a straightforward, conversational tone with a sharp sense of rhythm and tightly compressed language.”

The following is a brief preview of Daniels reading a number of poems from his recent collection, Having a Little Talk with Capital P Poetry:

Anyone who has attended a reading by poet Heather McNaugher knows her relaxed delivery and precise balance of humor and ennui informs the singular madness that is life and love in 21st century America. She will simultaneously touch and steal your heart – what happens after that is anyone’s guess. Consider yourself warned: it’s not your wallet you need to keep your eye on.

Here is McNaugher reading two poems from her fine collection Panic & Joy, published by Finishing Line Press:

So, consider this a personal invitation to hear and meet two word slingers who have the world firmly in their sights and their audience–that’s us–in mind and heart.

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~ Don

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The Brentwood Anthology Reading: The Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange

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Since 1974, the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange has been a staple of the Pittsburgh literary scene. On Saturday, January 24th, from 3 to 4 pm at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh–Main in Oakland, there will be a reading from, and a celebration of, the recent publication, The Brentwood Anthology, which includes the work of 22 nationally and regionally known poets who are members of the Exchange. Many of the poets from the anthology will be present to read their work.

The anthology has received some fine press, including this great article on the TribLive website. The publisher, nine toes press (an imprint of Lummox Press) has put up a generous sampling of poems from the anthology in a digital ‘flip book’ format for ease of reading.

In the introduction to the collection, founder and guiding luminary, Michael Wurster, notes that, for the last 40 years, the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange has served the greater Pittsburgh community as “a voluntary association of local poets, especially those out of the university loop.” The organization produces readings, such as the one upcoming at the Carnegie Library, and events, as well as creating a network for local practitioners of the poetic arts. The workshops have been the mainstay of the organization throughout the years and continue on a monthly basis at the Brentwood Public Library. The effect on the lives of Pittsburgh poets, both established and struggling, of the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange has been truly immeasurable.

As well as highlighting the work of PPE members, the reading on January 24th is a way of saying thanks to the organization and to the poets for all they’ve done in making Pittsburgh one of the most active urban hubs of poetry in the Northeast. Come out and join us for what should prove to be a stimulating, provocative and moving afternoon of poetry live.

~ Don 

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2015 Reading Resolutions: Onward and Upward!

With another year of books under our belts, it’s time to look ahead. To bring the blogging year to a close, some Eleventh Stackers have chosen to share their reading resolutions for 2015. There’s nowhere to go, but up, and our team has aimed high — check it out!

Jess

Every time someone asks for a mystery recommendation, I cringe. Despite my love for serialized crime shows (Criminal Minds, Veronica Mars, Murder She Wrote…), I just have a hard time with the genre in book form. 2015 is the year I step up my game and have some titles in my back pocket for the next time I’m put on the spot. I have Anthony Hororwitz’s Moriarty on my list (I read The House of Silk last year for our Tuesday book club, and liked his take on Sherlock). And a regular patron suggested the Ian Rutledge series, by Charles Todd. Readers, if you have any must-reads, maybe some non-historicals that are maybe a bit John Grisham-y, please send ’em my way.

suzy

Unfinished business.

Unfinished business.

I’m going to finish some books in 2015. This year, for whatever reason, I’d get almost to the end of a book and stop reading it. It didn’t matter whether I liked the book or not: I just stopped. I don’t know if this is a sign of mental illness or a newly shortened attention span. Here is a sampling of the books I started, thoroughly enjoyed, and never finished. Feel free to tell me the endings.

Ross

In 2010 I started Stephen King’s It. “Started” being the key word here.  That book is thick, yo.  Maybe 2015 will be the year I finish it.  Or maybe I’ll focus on the classics that I missed out on for one reason or the other, like Animal Farm or Moby-Dick.  Maybe I’ll go back to the books of my childhood, like the Narnia books. Or, since I just started re-watching Gilmore Girls, maybe I’ll focus on a Rory Gilmore reading list.

Irene

I’ve never had much use for audio-books, but I recently discovered how much I like listening to them on long runs. So my reading resolution for 2015 is actually more of a listening resolution: to delve into the library’s collection of super-portable Playaways. I just started listening to Runner.

Scott

I plan to read some more Anne Sexton. I am also slowly re-reading all of the Song Of Ice And Fire novels using the eCLP format.

Leigh Anne

I like to play along with formal reading challenges, to make sure that I regularly step out of my favorite genres and formats to try a little bit of everything. Luckily the magical internet is filled with such opportunities, most of which I find via A Novel Challenge, a terrific blog that collects news and info about different reading games. Of course, I always load up on way too many challenges, and rarely finish any of them…but I sure do have a great time trying!

Here are some challenges I’ll be signing up for in 2015:

The Bookish 2015 TBR Reading Challenge. I have two bookcases at home filled with books I own that I haven’t read yet (I blame the Library, both for being so excellent and for fueling my book-buying habit). It’s getting a little bit out of hand, so I’ve decided to dive into those TBR shelves and decide whether to keep or regift what I’ve got.

It's not bragging if it's true.

It’s not bragging if it’s true.

Janet Ursel’s We Read Diverse Books Challenge. It’s no secret that the publishing  industry is still predominantly white, which means there are a lot of stories out there untold or overlooked. This bothers me both professionally and personally, so I’m on a constant mission to make sure my own reading and reviewing is as inclusive as possible. This challenge was inspired by the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign of 2014.

The 2015 Ebook Reading Challenge. Ebooks are an important part of the reading landscape these days, and I really should be looking at more of them (Overdrive READ is my friend right now, until I finally decide which tablet I want). Ebooks are also sometimes challenging for me because of my vision impairments, but I’m hoping Consumer Reports , a little web sleuthing, and input from other users (maybe you?) will help me pick out the tablet with the best accessibility features. Thanks in advance!

The 2015 Graphic Novels & Manga Challenge. This one’s kind of a cheat, as I adore comics of all kinds. The problem is, I rarely make time to read them, mostly out of guilt because they’re so much fun and there are many other Terribly Serious Things I should be reading dontcha know. However, this means I missed a lot of good stuff in 2014, so I’ve decided to ditch the guilt and spend 2015 savoring the fine art of comics. Woohoo!

Four challenges is do-able, right?  I’ll report back regularly in upcoming blog posts.

Melissa F.

Browsing the historical fiction section

Browsing the historical fiction section

I’ve become a little too comfortable insofar as my reading habits go. On one hand, I don’t see any problem with this, since reading is something I do for fun and entertainment. Still, there’s something to be said for expanding one’s knowledge and horizons.

In 2015, I’m planning to do more of my reading from the World Fiction and Historical Fiction sections on the First Floor of CLP-Main. I’m not setting an actual numerical goal for this resolution, just challenging myself to read more from these areas (which I admittedly tend to overlook while perusing the new fiction, nonfiction, and short stories).  Your suggestions are most welcome.

And there you have it! Do you have any reading recommendations or advice for the Eleventh Stackers? Do you set yourself reading goals or just let the books fall where they may? Share the wisdom, leave a comment!

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Yet Another Best Of List

Because of a technical glitch, my selections for favorite books read in 2014 didn’t quite make it into the annual Stuff We Like edition of Eleventh Stack.

This just means now I get to tell you all about the great things I discovered this year in MY VERY OWN POST.

Funny how life works out that way.

History of the RainYou already know how much I loved History of the Rain, the Man Booker Prize nominated novel by Niall Williams. As we come to year’s end, this remains one of my favorite books I read in 2014. It has one of my favorite quotes as its second paragraph:

“We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. That’s how it seems to me, being alive for a little while, the teller and the told.” (pg. 1) 

Glitter and Glue

Another book that I loved right away was Kelly Corrigan’s memoir Glitter and Glue.  Now, some may say I’m partial to Ms. Corrigan’s writing because, like me, she’s a Philly girl. That certainly helps, but the fact remains that she’s a damn good writer – and Glitter and Glue is a fantastic follow-up (actually, it’s somewhat of a prequel) to The Middle Place.

Gabriel

I read a lot of poetry this year, and much of what I read was by poets who were new-t0-me. My favorite poetry book is actually a single poem in book-length form.  Edward Hirsch’s work was among my favorites before 2014, which made Gabriel: A Poem a highly-anticipated read.  A tribute to and reflection on his loss of his son, Mr. Hirsch’s heartbreak cracks your heart open with the grief on every line he writes.

Love Life

Finally, this was the year of the audiobook – at least for me.  I listened to a total of 20, mostly during my commute to and from my job here at the Library.  (Those minutes sitting in traffic on the Vet’s Bridge really do add up. Who knew?)  Among those who kept me awake was none other than Rob Lowe, who filled my car with long-ago tales of debauchery, a tearjerker about sending his son off to college, and a female co-star who had a difficult time kissing him. (Note to Rob: if you ever find yourself in such a predicament again, drop me a note and I’ll help you out.) Now, celebrity memoirs by people who don’t even need their name on the book cover are usually not my thing, but if you grew up in the ’80s as I did, you might find Love Life irresistible.

What books, music and movies did you find irresistible in 2014?

~ Melissa F.

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Celebrating Black Women’s Writing

One great part of being a grown-up is that you can, if you want, educate yourself on everything you didn’t learn in school. This year I’ve been reading my way through the For Harriet blog’s list of the 100 books by Black women they believe everyone should read. After spending so much time with powerful fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, I have to say, it’s the perfect syllabus for the best class I never had.

There’s a point of entry in the list for every reading type and temperament, and many of the works are thematically linked, so you can pretty much jump in anywhere and learn a lot no matter where you start. Here are a few suggestions to inspire you.

photo courtesy of Getty Images.

photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Daughter: A Novel, asha bandele. Aya, a college student, is shot by a white police officer bandelewhile out jogging,  in a hideous case of mistaken identity. Miriam, Aya’s mother, is left to cope not only with the current tragedy of losing her child, but the unhealed trauma of her past relationship with Aya’s father. As the story moves between present and past, we learn how carefree young women become cautious and hard, at the expense of their own ability to cherish the men they love and the children they bear. A timely, sobering pick that’s sure to spark spirited book club discussions. Available in print only.

3carter2 Candles, Ernessa T. Carter. Davie’s favorite teen movie was Sixteen Candles, but unfortunately, she couldn’t get her own high school crush to give her the time of day. Years later, she runs into him again by chance, and sparks fly. Too bad she sort of forgets to tell him who she is, and that they already know each other, a decision that comes back to haunt her just when happiness is in her grasp. Solid chick lit about childhood dreams, adult deceptions, and — romance fans take note — hard-won happy endings. Available in print and as a digital audio book.

Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson. Ti-Jeanne lives with her grandmother, and has hopkinsonlearned a wealth of healing lore from her. However, she’s going to have to learn some things she hadn’t counted on in order to face down the evil spirit that stalks Toronto. Heavy on Caribbean legend and lore, Hopkinson’s first novel is a gripping foray into dystopian speculative fiction (long before we started calling those things by those names) partially influenced by Derek Walcott’s play, Ti-Jean and his Brothers (which has been anthologized in various collections). A good beginning for teens and adults looking for heroines of color in their SF/F.* Available in print, digital audio, and — for you intrepid late adopters — book on cassette.

sistercitizenSister Citizen, Melissa Harris-Perry. Of all the great non-fiction on this list, Harris-Perry’s stands out for its clear explanations of concepts that might be unfamiliar to you, as well of a history of images and events of which you might not be aware. Harris-Perry explains what obstacles have prevented Black women from fully participating in democracy, using statistics, stereotype analysis, political theory, anecdotes of women’s lived experience, and other tools to make her case. She also references some of the other non-fiction works mentioned in the For Harriet list, which may help you to decide where to go next in your learning journey. Available in print and as a digital audio book.

homegirls & handgrenades, Sonia Sanchez. You get the sense, reading this collection of sanchezpoems, that what Sanchez really wants to do is take you by the hand and lead you through her universe, saying, “Look. Listen.” Her speakers often function as observer-outsiders in many of these poems, implying that the teacher often functions as the student, even when the teacher knows her subject very well. Poems like “Bubba” and “Traveling on an Amtrak Train Could Humanize You” are fine examples of this: Sanchez telling stories that have broadened her speakers’ minds, and, hopefully, our own. Poetry for people who think they aren’t ready for poetry, but are willing to give it a shot. Available in print only.

The list of 100 also contains the authors you’d expect to be there (Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, etc.), but I deliberately chose less familiar selections to demonstrate just how much depth and breadth we’re dealing with here. If you’re intrigued, I hope you’ll try one of these selections, or others from the list; maybe this is an area you’re familiar with already. If so, I hope you’ll suggest additional titles, and share your own reading experiences in the comments.

Leigh Anne

* This is a particular reading interest of mine so if you’re ever in the library, come find me and let’s talk about it. A great place to start your research is Bitch magazine’s series of blog posts on girls of color in dystopia, written by Victoria Law.

 

 

 

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Lynn Emanuel and Ann Curran: Saturday Poets-In-Person

Samuel Hazo_postcard flyr (5_5x8_5)

Coming up on Saturday, November 15th, at 3 pm in the International Poetry Room on the 2nd floor of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh–Main, is the second of four poetry readings in the new Saturday Poets-In Person series with Lynn Emanuel and Ann Curran. The event is free of charge.

Lynn Emanuel is a nationally known poet, author of three previous poetry collections: Hotel Fiesta, The Dig and Then, Suddenly. The Dig received a National Poetry Series Award in 1991. She is also a recipient of the Pushcart Prize. Esteemed poet Eavan Boland observed on the Poetry Foundation’s website  that “Lynn Emanuel’s poems have a rare power: they connect to the world through estrangement.” Her latest volume of new and selected poems, The Nerve of It, will be published in the fall of 2015. What follows is a reading of her poem, “Desire,” with musical accompaniment, during the 2010 Jazz Poetry Concert at City of Asylum, Sampsonia Way on the North Side.

Ann Curran, author of the poetry chapbook Placement Test and the full-length poetry book, Me First, is the former long-time editor of Carnegie Mellon Magazine and staff writer for the Pittsburgh Catholic and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A fine review of Me First, which appeared in the City Papermay be at their website.  You can get a preview of Ann Curran’s work at the Hemingway Poetry Series blog, a rich blog of readings at Hemingway’s Bar in Oakland, one of the longest running, eclectic and finest reading series in Pittsburgh. The reading is from May of this year.

 The first reading in the series, with Toi Derricotte and Vanessa German, was a big success. Come join us and see two more exciting Pittsburgh poets: Lynn Emanuel and Ann Curran.
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~ Don

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Toi Derricotte & Vanessa German: Saturday Poets-In-Person

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Come join us on Saturday, September 20th, at the Main Library in Oakland, for the inaugural reading in our brand new series, Saturday Poets-In-Person. The series will focus on well-known Pittsburgh poets, with the featured poets for the first reading being Toi Derricotte and Vanessa German. Readings will take place from 3 to 4 pm on Saturday afternoons. Sign language interpretation will be provided for our Deaf community.

Toi Derricotte is an important American poet whose work resonates deeply with the sorrows and the joys of being human, utilizing elements of her own life to inform us all what it is to be alive in the late 20th and early 21st century. An award winning poet who is the co-founder of Cave Canem, an organization “committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets,” she was elected Chancellor of  the Academy of American Poets in 2012.

Vanessa German is a multidisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh’s historic Homewood neighborhood. Her performances have been described by Creative Mornings  as being in a “style called Spoken Word Opera; a dynamic hybrid of spoken word poetry infused with the theatrical elements of Opera, Hip Hop, and African Storytelling.” Her love of Homewood, her personal courage in the face of adversity, and her performance work, the stuff of Pittsburgh legend, are well-known both nationally and internationally.

All readings will take place in the International Poetry Room on the second floor of Main Library. The poetry collection housed there contains over 4,500 books and is one of the largest standalone poetry collections in a public library in the US. The collection was begun by the Carnegie Library in collaboration with Dr. Samuel Hazo, the founder and Executive Director of the International Poetry Forum, with a few dozen books back in 1976 and has grown into a destination point for poetry lovers in Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County.

For lovers of the written word, performance art, or poetry, this is a program not to be missed. I hope to see you there. FYI, here is a flyer for the complete series. Just click to enlarge:

page0001~ Don

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Pride Week @ CLP: The Stories That Won’t Let Go

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There’s a story that won’t let go of me.

Some days, this book takes the form of a novel. On other days, it has flirted with being a collection of linked short stories and at times, it feels like it wants to be a memoir.

You won’t find this book on our shelves here at the Library (yet) because I’ve written and rewritten this story for … well, let’s just say it has been a few years.  Like most things in our lives, it is a SomedayMaybeLifeIsntGettingAnyShorter work in progress.

As those of you who are writers know, sometimes it takes longer than we’d like for a story to find its voice and its path.  And that’s where I am with this novel/short story collection/memoir of mine, which focuses on a family losing a loved one to AIDS in the midst of the epidemic.

So what to do when the words won’t come and the story won’t allow you to give up?

You write. And you read.

You read the stories of love taken too soon. You discover Mark Doty through his eloquent poetry and his gorgeous memoirs. You listen to Dog Years on audio and you — admittedly, not much of a dog person — cry on your commute home.

You read Paul Monette, who reminds you that we are all on Borrowed Time.

You read the impossible, improbable love story of Marion Winik and her husband Tony in First Comes Love.

You read Randy Shilts’ And The Band Played On and you wonder how different things would have been if better decisions had been made by the people in charge.

You read Michael Cunningham and you believe that every single one of his fictional characters are real.

You read Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, and your admiration for the incredible quality of what is truly groundbreaking YA (young adult) and teen literature today increases exponentially. You are inspired and intimidated to add your words to that.

You read and you read some more. You realize that you have so much you want to and need to read and learn about the LGBTQ history, the sociology, about those who have gone before and those who are here now. You stand in awe at the shelves, at the words they hold, the lifetimes and legacies they capture. There is so much, and at the Library it is yours; it is all right here.

And then you realize why your story – and all of these stories – won’t let go.

It’s because you owe it to those whose stories have already been told and those whose epilogues were written too soon. It’s because you are a privileged white, straight, married female and you have an obligation to be an ally and a voice for those who are silenced and silent, and who don’t have the same legal rights as you do because of who they happen to love. It’s because there is a new generation emerging with opportunities that yours — the one growing up silenced, the one learning about love amid the stigma and fear — never did until it was sometimes too late.

“There is a nearly perfect balance between the past and the future.

As we become the distant past, you become a future few of us would have imagined.”

~ page 1 of Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan

~Melissa F.

 

 

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June 10, 2014 · 5:00 am

The Communion of Reading: William Stafford

The poet William Stafford and my father were born in the same year, 1914, one hundred years ago. I’m having trouble reconciling that, for some reason.

My father fought in World War II; Stafford was a conscientious objector. Stafford was a poet and a teacher. My father loaded trucks for a living.

As far as I can intuit, there is one thing that they shared: there was a depth of feeling, tinged with sorrow, that framed their lives. One found an outlet; the other did not.

In this one hundredth anniversary year of his birth, a wonderful new collection of William Stafford’s work has been assembled, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems, compiled by his son, Kim Stafford.

stafford ask me

Perhaps the two most complex relationships in (human) life are between mothers and daughters and fathers and sons. Kim Stafford’s collection of his father’s work testifies to a depth of understanding and emotion in life, including the father/son relationship, that is rare, indeed, even amongst the finest of poets.

My father was an avid reader though, like most of us, not often of poetry. Still, one of the greatest gifts he ever gave me was a penchant for the works of Thomas Hardy. For an aging, exhausted shipping clerk to catalyze this kind of connection, classic author to father to son, was no mean feat. It was a way to express emotion, something far more difficult than even the grueling, mind numbing job which helped shorten his life.

Oddly enough, looking at what I’ve written so far, it is readily apparent that, during this National Poetry Month, this wonderful retrospective selection of William Stafford’s work has, in memory, given me back my father in a moving, important way.

That is what the communion of reading can do.

Here is a poem by William Stafford from Ask Me that speaks directly to the feelings I’ve been grappling with, in a manner I feel no prose account might do:

Listening

My father could hear a little animal step,
or a moth in the dark against the screen,
and every far sound called the listening out
into places where the rest of us have never been.

More spoke to him in the soft wild night
than came to our porch for us on the wind;
we would watch him look up and his face go keen
till the walls of the world flared, widened.

My father heard so much that we still stand
inviting the quiet by turning the face,
waiting for a time when something in the night
will touch us too from that far place.

– William Stafford

~ Don

PS:  Thanks,  David Mahler, for the gift of William Stafford.

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