A humble spirit
Poet William Stafford was born on this day, January 17, 1914 in Hutchinson, Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas and received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Stafford was a conscientious objector during World War II and worked in a civillian service camp as his alternative service. This experience led to his first prose work, Down My Heart. He taught at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. Stafford wrote every morning and produced several collections of his work, all reflecting his joy in the magic of the moment and his great love for the natural world. He offered questions, not answers. Here's an example:
Sometimes the light when evening fails
stains all haystacked country and hills,
runs the cornrows and clasps the barn
with that kind of color escaped from corn
that brings to autumn the winter word—
a level shaft that tells the world:
It is too late now for earlier ways;
now there are only some other ways,
and only one way to find them—fail.
In one stride night then takes the hill.