Along for the ride:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fame by William Stafford

My book fell in a river and rolled
Over and over turning its pages for the sun. From a bridge I saw this.
An eagle dived and snatched the slippery volume.

Now somewhere in the forest that book educates
Eagles, turns its leaves in the wind,
and all those poems whisper for autumn
to come, and the long nights, and the snow

My Lovely Daughter chose this poem to illustrate for a school project many years ago. I am happy to have discovered it through her.
Tonight Lovely Daughter and Keeper Husband are camping, somewhere in the Northern Woods with strangers (or new friends) whom they met online in a chat group for those who have Jeep Wranglers.
I have the GPS coordinates so that I will know where to start looking if they don't show up on Monday.
I wonder if she will see eagles soaring or come across a poetry book in the forest.


  1. You have encouraged me to seek out more about William Stafford. I might start with his memoir, 'Down My Heart'.

    If your 'Lovely Daughter' does see an eagle, I'm sure his poem will come back to her.

  2. Just how many people have been inspired by William Stafford over time? A marvellous master of elegant prose.

    Your daughter is of good taste.

  3. Good taste! Absolutely, a beautiful verse.

  4. I am obviously something of a prose pleb, I haven't heard that poem before. It's beautiful.

  5. All; I have kept the T-shirt that was decorated for English homework so long ago. It has drawings, feathers, sequins and some simple outlines of oak leaves. I wanted to verify the title and punctuation but didn't easily find it online. I trust my Lovely Daughter that she applied herself and got it right, much as I trust all will be well and she will come safely home from the wilderness.

  6. Love the man and his poetry. He was Oregon's Poet Laureate from 1975-1989 and was the key speaker at my ex-husband's graduation from Willamette Law School in 1979. It was the most soaring and simple speech I've ever heard.....

  7. Ah to soar on eagles wings in rugged country! I suppose if you haven't got eagles wings then the next best thing is a Wrangler Jeep!
    Great Poem and a great site. Glad I stopped bye.

  8. Beautiful... It's Monday night, I hope all is well.

  9. @eloh, Lovely (and dutiful) Daughter called last night on her way home to tell me all was well and they had a splendid time, albeit Effing freezing in the woods in November!

    Shattered, I love the mind of the Poet, thinking of a book educating eagles. (Glad to see you).

    Kipling, Welcome! A man with the depth to appreciate a Mongoose "dis" earns high marks.

    Lydia, I intend to get myself to a book store so that I may have more of his works at my beck and call.

  10. What a vision, poems in the claws of an eagle off to line a large nest somewhere high on a cliff... and hopefully the eaglets born there had time to read a few of the pages lining their nest while parents were out hunting, before being pushed out into the harsh world of survival themselves, to seek and live their own poems...

  11. Where did my brilliantly clever comment about eagles' reciting poetry go?

    Must have failed in part of the posting technique. Regardless, I love the poem.

  12. Owen, there is power in the vision of a literate eaglet.

    Jean, how frustrating it is to lose a brilliant comment. I always look forward to your perspective.

  13. Oh, I love William Stafford. This one was new to me, thanks for sharing. I hope your daughter and hubby had a great camping trip!

  14. Wonderful poetry and a new introduction for me. Daughter sounds like her mother...

  15. Hey English

    Sorry there's been nothing but wordzzle on my site for a while - know you're not keen. hopefully i'll have some proper web time soon to post the other kind of post again :)

    Lovely poem and i hope your family had a great time and returned safe xx

  16. Michelle, they had a great time and can't wait to do it again. I was writing about Eagles but worried about Bears.

    Deborah, I take full credit for turning out a Lovely Daughter:)

    Hungry Pixie, It is your blog, don't worry about anyone else. All home safe, thanks.

  17. this was a really lovely poem, such a surreal but vivid imagin' Hope all returned safe and well. Recently drove a jeep for the first time (belonging to the sheep fella). I want one, ooohhhh.. how I want one!