Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Way It Is - William Stafford

Kim Stafford talked about his father and writing his father's biography, Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford. He mentions his father's Poem, The Way It Is. This is the poem that helped him, as he constantly revised the structure (and table of contents) of the book.

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

~ William Stafford ~

Kim Stafford told us during the panel "writing biography" at the AWP conference, about his father's advice about writing: "Do the thing that is most alive." I take this to mean this is what we as writers, should write about. I will do this.

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