Coffee, Red Wine and Poetry

photo by jonathan ruchti

Although I usually write and read longer, paragraphed forms of writing, a good poem remains for me better than that first coffee in the morning, surpassing even that rich red warm glass of wine in the evening. A good poem awakens and lulls me. I carry it away.

On a social network site, a friend posted a note about William Stafford. Stafford first appealed to me in grad school; his writing clenches like a root, tenacious in the Great Plains and western American landscape. His voice also carries the honest tone of a friend confiding in another, as in, β€œAsk Me.”

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.

–William Stafford

Carry this.

*”Ask Me” copyright 1977, 1998 by the Estate of William Stafford.

3 responses to “Coffee, Red Wine and Poetry

  1. That is a very satisfying poem. I love that you compare it to coffee at the start of the day and wine at the end of the day. Both of which soothe and invigorate. πŸ™‚ I love your new blog layout. πŸ™‚

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