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Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-1947by William Stafford
In Another World Instead, we receive a true gift: the early writings of one of our best-loved modern American poets. These poems, most of them composed while Stafford was interned as a conscientious objector during World War II, are small and beautiful. In their experiments with rhyme and form, they're fascinating. They deal with deep ethical quandaries and the glories of a season's change in the mountains with equal passion. This is a book to treasure, offering rare insight into the genesis of a great poet's craft.
Synopses & Reviews
If I could remember all at once — but I have forgotten.
Twenty-eight years old and a conscientious objector during World War II, William Stafford was assigned under penalty of law to work in camps, an internal exile within his own country. In this remarkable collection of poems, nearly all of them never before published, the first decade of Stafford's writing life is for the first time made available to readers. Edited by the poet Fred Marchant, one of the first marine officers honorably discharged as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Another World Instead tells the story of a committed pacifist living in a time of war and a writer beginning a major life in American poetry.
The unpublished early poems of William Stafford now added to "a body of work that represents some of the finest poetry written during the second half of [the twentieth] century." Library Journal
"William Stafford’s quiet presence in the landscape of American poetry in my lifetime has been a kind of continuing reassurance whose value always seemed to me beyond question." W. S. Merwin
The unpublished early poems of William Stafford now added to "a body of work that represents some of the finest poetry written during the second half of [the twentieth] century." (Library Journal)
If I could remember all at once--but I have forgotten.
But some day, looking along a furrowed cliff, staring
beyond the eyes' strength, I'll start the avalanche
and every stone will fall separate and revealed.
Twenty-eight years old and a conscientious objector during World War II, William Stafford was assigned under penalty of law to work in camps, an internal exile within his own country. In this remarkable collection of poems, nearly all of them never before published, the first decade of Stafford's writing life is for the first time made available to readers. Edited by the poet Fred Marchant, one of
the first marine officers honorably discharged as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Another World Instead tells the story of a committed pacifist living in a time of war and a writer beginning a major life in American poetry.
About the Author
William Stafford (1914 — 93) was the author of more than fifty books, including Traveling Through the Dark, winner of the National Book Award, and The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Fred Marchant
For Poems—'42 and '43
Subject and Background
Communication from a Wanderer
I. Report of Kansas in Winter
II. Report of the Nation Forest
III. Report of the Southeast
IV. Final Report
From the Sound of Peace
Discovery Home Town
Women of Kansas
At Roll Call
Buzzards over Arkansas
CO Park Project
"Their voices were stilled . . ."
Week End in Santa Barbara
"Time fills the canyon . . ."
Los Prietos [I]
The Country of Thin Mountains
Dark-Browed Rough Pacifist
Los Prietos [II]
The Way Men Walk
CO's Work on Mountain Road
Dar Down, A River
"They say sound is the war . . ."
Walking at Night
"We call it the chaparral . . ."
"While we sat on the lawn . . ."
"I was there when it happened . . ."
"spoke about sacrifice . . ."
"Your tragedy before the ship goes down . . ."
"I do not know how that fine dust rises . . ."
More Than Bread
"Shall we have that singing . . ."
Speech from a Play
Christmas Comes but Once a Year
Devotion To a Gold Star Mother
At a Little Church
"You might as well put . . ."
"The One who said 'No violence' . . ."
Fire in Lava Country
"It's an old story . . ."
"They taught me to be hurt . . ."
"They flawed when struck . . ."
Speech from the Big Play
One Place I Saw
Before the Big Storm
"Unto a great great deaf mountain . . ."
The Tall Animals
Travel Report: 1945
Chicago Bridge, Evening
"That land spoke . . ."
"I had forgotten the clown . . ."
The War Season
Translation from the Yaqui
Twelve Years Old
The Midgets of War
"The first thing that grows . . ."
The Sound: Summer, 1945
"A note on solemn war . . ."
On Attending a Militaristic Church Service
Nine Years Old
CO Week End
"Over the Candle we looked at us . . ."
Return "I thought they shouldn't turn the light so low . . ."
"They listened to him say his creed . . ."
To Those among Us Who Will Be Wise, and Know
"You dropped into my morning . . ."
Two Bits Worth
"When I walked along the earth . . ."
"All around the biggest bay . . ."
Home Town from the Flyer
"While one bird bears the noon . . ."
Humanity in the Service
The Arrow Maker
Country Boy at College—Postwar
Members of the Kingdom
At the Salt Marsh
"There in the deep room . . ."
Beginning of Hostilities
Two Kinds of Faith
"Your tears fell on my eyes . . ."
A Leader I Met
The Myth of the Windblown Hair
The Right Thing
It Was This Way
Rebel Telling You
From the Back Row
"A million explosions went out . . ."
[Coda: a Dedication]
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