Passwords: Poems

William Stafford, Author Harper Perennial $21.95 (92p) ISBN 978-0-06-055293-0
This is a multifaceted collection, full of wry observations and pregnant musings, the products of a prodigious imagination that transforms all it perceives into verse that speaks eloquently of the concerns of our material and spiritual lives. The subject of these poems is the resonance of everyday events, both large and small. Of a book he recently has finished reading, the poet proclaims, ``the rumor / of it will haunt all that follows in my life.'' Walking in the woods, he feels ``the centuries ripple--generations / of wandering, discovering, being lost / and found.'' The loss of a child brings an awareness of death's isolation: ``Nowhere now, you call through every storm, / a voice that wanders without a home.'' Stafford finds refuge from life's nasty weather on hidden ``islands,'' the significant ``intervals allowed, moment by moment, lost / in the large parade of days.'' Ultimately, these are poems of hope, uttered with the confidence of one who has braved the ``tumble'' of the ``wide unbroken seap 65 .'' Stafford ( An Oregon Message ) offers his wisdom in clear, concise language, a ``program of passwords'' that gives the reader faith in the beauty and love inherent in each brief moment. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 92 pages - 978-0-06-096587-7
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