44 Total Quotes

William Stafford Quotes

I think language does bring us together. Fragile and misleading as it is, it's the best communication we've got, and poetry is language at its most intense and potentially fulfilling. Poems do bring people together.
William Stafford
#Communication

It is time for all the heroes to go homeif they have any, time for all of us common onesto locate ourselves by the real thingswe live by.
William Stafford
#Hero

"It's love," they say. You touchthe right one and a whole half of the universewakes up, a new half.
William Stafford
#Love

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.
William Stafford
#American Poet

I embrace emerging experience.I participate in discovery.I am a butterfly.I am not a butterfly collector.I want the experience of the butterfly.
William Stafford
#Discovery

When I dream at night, they save a place for me,no matter how small, somewhere by the fire.
William Stafford
#Fire

I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.
William Stafford
#American Poet

Let the bucket of memory down into the well,bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No onestirring, no plans. Just being there.
William Stafford
#Memory

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.
William Stafford
#Life

Some time when the river is ice ask memistakes I have made. Ask me whetherwhat I have done is my life. Othershave come in their slow way intomy thought, and some have tried to helpor to hurt: ask me what differencetheir strongest love or hate has made.
William Stafford
#Mistakes

Poetry is the kind of thing you have to see from the corner of your eye. You can be too well prepared for poetry. A conscientious interest in it is worse than no interest at all. . . . It's like a very faint star. If you look straight at it you can't see it, but if you look a little to one side it is there.
William Stafford
#Poetry

At noon in the desert a panting lizardwaited for history, its elbows tense,watching the curve of a particular roadas if something might happen.
William Stafford
#History

Wisdom is having things right in your lifeand knowing why.
William Stafford
#Life

I just kept on doing what everyone starts out doing. The real question is, why did other people stop?
William Stafford
#American Poet #People

If you don't know the kind of person I amand I don't know the kind of person you area pattern that others made may prevail in the worldand following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
William Stafford
#Kind

Next time what I'd do is look atthe earth before saying anything. I'd stopjust before going into a houseand be an emperor for a minuteand listen better to the windor to the air being still.
William Stafford
#Earth

I'll be me, but I don't like it.
William Stafford
#American Poet

You happy beings, watch every face for thoseyou pass caught in the midst of lifeby some horror, their souls gone dim, cursedor unlucky, exiled under a stone.
William Stafford
#Life

And sometimes when they look in the firethey see time going on and someone alone,but they don't say anything.
William Stafford
#Fire

All right. I listen. My life sinks a littlefarther, for the pity; from now on I know itwith them. We'll take a stand, wherever the end is.We go forward by this quiet sharing,they one way, I another. I am their promise:no one else is going to know.
William Stafford
#Life

Well, it was yesterday. And the sun came,WhyIt came.
William Stafford
#Sun

You don't need many words if you already know what you're talking about.
William Stafford
#American Poet

For it is important that awake people be awake,or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;the signals we give -- yes or no, or maybe --should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
William Stafford
#People

Our Father Who art in Heavencan lick their Father Who art in Heaven.
William Stafford
#Art

You can't tell when strange things with meaningwill happen. I'm [still] here writing it downjust the way it was. "You don't have toprove anything," my mother said. "Just be readyfor what God sends."
William Stafford
#Meaning

If you have things right in your lifebut do not know why,you are just lucky, and you will not movein the little ways that encourage good fortune.
William Stafford
#Life

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.
William Stafford
#Character

These words that occur to me come out of my relation to the language which is developing even as I am using it.
William Stafford
#Language

I am a person a dictionary-maker has to contend with. I am a living evidence in the development of language.
William Stafford
#Living