William Stafford Quotes

Enjoy the top 97 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by William Stafford.

William Stafford Quotes

If you dont know the kind of person I am
and I dont 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.
— William Stafford —

Wisdom is having things right in your life
and knowing why.

— William Stafford

I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.

— William Stafford

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

— 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?

— William Stafford

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

— William Stafford

This dream the world is having about itself
includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,
a groove in the grass my father showed us all
one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell
something better about to happen.

— William Stafford

I'll be me, but I don't like it.

— William Stafford

I would exchange all that I have written for the next thing.

— William Stafford

Which of the horses
we passed yesterday whinnied
all night in my dreams?
I want that one.

— William Stafford

There may be losses too great to understand
That rove after you and
faint and terrible
rip unknown through your hand.

— William Stafford

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

— William Stafford

Save the world by torturing one innocent child? Which innocent child?

— William Stafford

Poverty plus confidence equals
pioneers. We never doubted.

— William Stafford

Politicians need citizens who will permit them to behave reasonably.

— William Stafford

You are a memory
too strong to leave this world ...

— William Stafford

Remarks on My Character
Waving a flag I retreat a long way beyond
any denial, all the way over the scorched earth,
and come into an arching grove of evasions,
onto those easy paths, one leading to another
and covered ever deeper with shade: I'll never
dare the sun again, that I can promise.
It is time to practice the shrug: "Don't count on
me." Or practice the question that drags its broken
wing over the ground and leads into the swamp
where vines trip anyone in a hurry, and a final
dark pool waits for you to stare at yourself
while shadows move closer over your shoulder.
That's my natural place; I can live where the blurred
faces peer back at me. I like the way
they blend, and no one is ever sure itself
or likely to settle in unless you scare off
the others. Afraid but so deep no one can follow,
I steal away there, holding my arms like a tree.

— 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.

— William Stafford

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

— 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.

— 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.

— William Stafford

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