Synopses & Reviews
The Darkness around Us Is Deep
marks an important event in American literary history, namely, publication of the selected poems of William Stafford. As Robert Bly says in his introduction, "William Stafford is a master. He belongs to that category of artists the Japanese have named 'national treasures.'" No one in our time has pursued the art of poetry over such a long lifetime with such persistent and unfailing creativity. At nearly eighty, he was writing some of his finest poems. His aim in poems was to "follow the golden thread" that, in William Blake's words, leads to "Heaven's gate," the mysterious center where creatures, humans, and angels live in harmony.
Stafford's pungent and sharp-edged poems about his father and mother have been brought together here for the first time. Other sections include his great poems on the Midwestern and Oregon landscapes, his many poems on Crazy Horse, Ishi, and others that spring from his Native American heritage, and a section reflecting his longtime peace work and refusal to serve war. The Darkness around Us Is Deep makes clear what grave dangers face us from human aggression on the individual and collective levels. Robert Bly writes, "I believe that William Stafford will be read with even greater attention in the next hundred years than he is now."
Bestselling author Robert Bly selects his favorite works by the award-winning poet William Stafford.