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Any Morning - William Stafford

Naomi Shihab Nye, one of my favourite poets and anthologists cites William Stafford as “one of the most beloved poets of the twentieth century”. I am requoting a line I had shared by her in an earlier post, for those who might have missed it

"In our time there has been no poet who revived hearts and spirits more convincingly than William Stafford. There has been no one who gave more courage to a journey with words, and silence, and an awakening life."

Pick up any of his poems and you will know it first hand (When I Met my Muse & The Way It Is). Today’s poem is a startling piece of presence that Stafford distills with his characteristic contemplative style. It is quite uncanny how Stafford can say so much with such simplicity and honesty. Any Morning snuggles in a pod of vulnerability, a moment of self-care and gentle reverie stolen from the busyness of the world. I like that he has isolated a moment that we spend with ourselves, mainly, because we rarely pay attention to these “pieces of heaven left lying around”. It is poems like these that slip between the pages of the everyday, with a carelessness that is not devoid of attention, that remind us of our humanity. It is a perception of self that is apart from the trappings, anxieties and hassles of being “social” and polite. So many poets have written about the secret joys of the morning when one is allowed a moment with oneself. I think this poem ranks among the best.


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