An Oregon Message

William Stafford, Author Harper Perennial $17.95 (143p) ISBN 978-0-06-055093-6
In a prefatory note to his eighth volume of poetry, Stafford hints at his unusual mode of composition: ""Each poem is a miracle that has been invited to happen . . . a gift, a surprise that emerges as itself.'' This method accounts for the quirkiness, the spontaneous freshness that mark his work. The worth of his poems depends, as he implies in ``When I Met My Muse,'' solely on a certain way of looking at things. Small and modest, his poems are more moments, brilliant apercus, sketches of imaginative possibilities than formal, programmatic verse. Everything and anything sparks hima memory, an object, a fleeting idea, an event. These sparks come to life as stories, comments, meditations, extended mysterious metaphors, like a display case filled with marvelous whatnots and curiosities gathered together over a lifetime. Their subjective randomness is just another tribute to what this poet calls ``the grace of it all'': ``I laugh/ and cry for every turn of the world,/ its terribly cold, innocent spin.'' (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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