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Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford by Kim Stafford, William Stafford

By Kim Stafford, William Stafford

"In our time there was no poet who revived human hearts and spirits extra convincingly than William Stafford." —Naomi Shihab Nye

Some time whilst the river is ice ask me
mistakes i've got made. question me whether
what i've got performed is my life.
—from "Ask Me"

In social gathering of the poet's centennial, Ask Me collects 100 of William Stafford's crucial poems. As a conscientious objector in the course of global struggle II, whereas assigned to Civilian Public provider camps Stafford started his day-by-day writing perform, a lifelong early-morning ritual of witness. His poetry unearths the results of violence, the day-by-day necessity of ethical judgements, and the bounty of artwork. chosen and with a notice through Kim Stafford, Ask Me offers the easiest from a profound and unique American voice.

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Extra resources for Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford

Example text

Ii am always already situa ted in the wor ld and it is my man ner of engaging in particul ar projects wh ich reveals most clearl y th e i nature of my bodily spa tia lity. J spatial exis tenctil Normally we take for granted the basi c 'pow er of projection' which form s suc h an integral part of our pre-reflective expe rience. Indeed, th e nature of thi s funda mental motility tends to elude us if we conce ntrate exclu siv ely on th e be havio ur of norm al su bjec ts. Merl eau-Ponty therefor e turns his alle ntio n to an examina tion of pathological mo tility in order to illuminate our usu al mode of orienting ourselves in the world.

Th e tradi tional \ noti on of the uncon scious has no place here; incarnate exis tence is not a mail er of 'd istinct representations' su p ported and explai ne d by ' unco nsc io us repfesentatio~fhe bod y is the expressio n of exis tence , but this does not mean that the former is a mere accompani me nt to the latt er, or that either is ' the origi na l of the human bein g'. Each pr esupposes the other in that primary process whe re by meaning comes into being and an orig ina l style emerges.

If my gaze is attrac ted by a vase on my desk , for example, the way in which my eyes mov e in exam in ing it already indicates the manner in w hich my fingers can explore it; moreover, th e former solici ts the latt er. If my fingers resp ond to thi s so licitatio n, the rest of my bod y spo n taneous ly re-a rranges itself aro und th is new task - for example, my tor so moves forw ard and my right arm straigh tens out as it reaches across the desk. '''' P' , Part I: The Body aroun d to the other side of my desk , reach down and pick the vase up.

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