Best 70 of William Stafford quotes - MyQuotes

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William Stafford
By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

...What you fear will not go away; it will take you into yourself and bless you and keep you. That's the world, and we all live there.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

One way to find your place is like the rain, a million requests for lodging, one that wins, finds your cheek: you find your home.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

I keep following this sort of hidden river of my life, you know, whatever the topic or impulse which comes, I follow it along trustingly. And I don't have any sense of its coming to a kind of crescendo, or of its petering out either. It is just going steadily along.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Once you decide to do right, life is easy, there are no distractions.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

There are so many things admirable people do not understand.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

A student brings something to discuss, saying, "I don't know whether this is really good, or whether I should throw it in the wastebasket." The assumption is that one or the other choice is the right move. No. Almost everything we say or think or do - or write - comes in that spacious human area bounded by something this side of the sublime and something above the unforgivable.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

I have a feeling that art is something you do for yourself, and that any time you turn your decisions over to someone else you're postponing at best, your own development. The atmosphere of the workshop should be that of trying out one's own work and accepting the signals from others but not accepting the dictation of others because that is a violation of the spirit of art. Art can't be done by somebody else, it has got to be done by the artist.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

You were aimed from birth: you will never be alone... The whole wide world pours down.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

Why I Am Happy Now has come, an easy time. I let it roll. There is a lake somewhere so blue and far nobody owns it. A wind comes by and a willow listens gracefully. I hear all this, every summer. I laugh and cry for every turn of the world, its terribly cold, innocent spin. That lake stays blue and free; it goes on and on. And I know where it is.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

A student comes to me with a piece of writing, holds it out, says, 'Is this good?' A whole sequence of emergencies goes off in my mind. That's not a question to ask anyone but yourself.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

I don't see writing as a communication of something already discovered, as "truths" already known. Rather, I see writing as a job of experiment. It's like any discovery job; you don't know what's going to happen until you try it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

Can injustice one way be corrected without the interim reaction that tries to impose injustice the other way?

By Anonym 19 Sep

William Stafford

They say that history is going on somewhere. They say it won't stop. I have held One picture still for a long time and waited.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

It is this impulse to change the quality of experience that I recognize as central to creation. . . . Out of all that could be done, you choose one thing. What that one thing is, nothing else can tell you--you come at it over unmarked snow.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Please think about this as you go on. Breathe on the world. Hold out your hands to it. When morning and evenings roll along, watch how they open and close, how they invite you to the long party that your life is.

By Anonym 17 Sep

William Stafford

Next time what I'd do is look at the earth before saying anything. I'd stop just before going into a house and be an emperor for a minute and listen better to the wind or to the air being still. When anyone talked to me, whether blame or praise or just passing time, I'd watch the face, how the mouth has to work, and see any strain, any sign of what lifted the voice. And for all, I'd know more -- the earth bracing itself and soaring, the air finding every leaf and feather over forest and water, and for every person the body glowing inside the clothes like a light.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

A writer is not so much someone who has something to say as he is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things he would not have thought of if he had not started to say them.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

The things you do not have to say make you rich. Saying things you do not have to say weakens your talk. Hearing things you do not need to hear dulls your hearing. And things you know before you hear them — those are you, those are why you are in the world.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

There is no such thing as writer's block for writers whose standards are low enough.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

I am not learning definitions as established in even the latest dictionaries. I am not a dictionary-maker. I am a person a dictionary-maker has to contend with. I am a living evidence in the development of language.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Others may be able to accept standards from another, but an artist is a person who decides.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

The ocean and I have many pebbles To find and wash off and roll into shape.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

If you don't know the kind of person I am and I don't know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

People wander about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

My question is "when did other people give up the idea of being a poet?" You know, when we are kids we make up things, we write, and for me the puzzle is not that some people are still writing, the real question is why did the other people stop?

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

The Way It Is There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread. ~ William Stafford ~

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Once we have tasted far streams, touched the gold, found some limit beyond the waterfall, a season changes and we come back changed but safe, quiet, grateful.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

The signals we give-yes or no, or maybe-/should be clear/the darkness around us is deep.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

Ask Me Some time when the river is ice ask me mistakes I have made. Ask me whether what I have done is my life. Others have come in their slow way into my thought, and some have tried to help or to hurt: ask me what difference their strongest love or hate has made. I will listen to what you say. You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait. We know the current is there, hidden; and there are comings and goings from miles away that hold the stillness exactly before us. What the river says, that is what I say.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Security of character would be like a compass, you know? Other people may say that this way is north, or this way might be north. But the compass just says -- north. That's what we count on.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

I have this feeling of wending my way or plundering through a mysterious jungle of possibilities when I am writing. This jungle has not been explored by previous writers. It never will be explored. It's endlessly varying as we progress through the experience of time. These words that occur to me come out of my relation to the language which is developing even as I am using it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Keep a journal, and don't assume that your work has to accomplish anything worthy: artists and peace-workers are in it for the long haul, and not to be judged by immediate results.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

Everyone is born a poet - a person discovering the way words sound and work, caring and delighting in words. I just kept on doing what everyone starts out doing. The real question is: Why did other people stop?

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

You can treat experience as a set of surprises on which to exercise your quirky self.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

An owl sound wandered along the road with me. I didn't hear it--I breathed it into my ears.

By Anonym 16 Sep

William Stafford

Evening came, a paw, to the gray hut by the river.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Some people are blinded by their experience. Soldiers know how important war is. Owners of slaves learn every day how inferior subject peoples are.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait. We know the current is there, hidden; and there are comings and goings from miles away that hold the stillness exactly before us. What the river says, that is what I say.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world than the breathing respect that you carry wherever you go right now?

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

Writing itself is one of the great, free human activities. There is scope for individuality, and elation, and discovery. In writing, for the person who follows with trust and forgiveness what occurs to him, the world remains always ready and deep, an inexhaustible environment, with the combined vividness of an actuality and flexibility of a dream. Working back and forth between experience and thought, writers have more than space and time can offer. They have the whole unexplored realm of human vision.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

So, the world happens twice-- once what we see it as; second it legends itself deep, the way it is.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Let the bucket of memory down into the well, bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one stirring, no plans. Just being there.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Stafford

The more you let yourself be distracted from where you are going, the more you are the person that you are. It's not so much like getting lost as it is like getting found.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

A writer is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

It's love,' they say. You touch the right one and a whole half of the universe wakes up, a new half.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Stafford

Literature is not a picture of life, but is a separate experience with its own kind of flow and enhancement.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Stafford

A poem is a serious joke, a truth that has learned jujitsu.