The Lake Oswego Public library joins with poetry fans around the world this month in honoring its “local boy done good,” William Stafford, who was born on January 17, 1914 in Hutchinson, Kansas, and died on August 28, 1993 in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
In conjunction with the Friends of William Stafford, the library is hosting a birthday celebration on Thursday, January 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. presented by Kirsten Rian, and featuring Skye Leslie, Amy MacLennan, Melissa Madenski, BT Shaw and FWS Board Member Susan Reese. While he won acclaim for his works, including being named Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress in 1970 and Oregon Poet Laureate from 1975-1989, it is the regard that the public holds of him that the library is showcasing by asking guests to bring a favorite Stafford poem for sharing that evening.
Here are some of my favorite Staffordisms:
Even the upper end of the river
Believes in the ocean
-“Climbing Along the River”
So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:
To be a discoverer you hold close whatever
You find, and after a while you decide
What it is. Then, secure in where you have been,
You turn to the open sea and let go.
The old have a secret.
They can’t tell others, for to understand
You have to be old.
-“Trying to Tell It”
It is time for all the heroes to go home
if they have any, time for all of us common ones
to locate ourselves by the real things
we live by.
Wisdom is having things right in your life
and knowing why.
-“The Little Ways That Encourage Good Fortune”
Leave your favorite Staffordism here to share with readers.
And remember to subscribe to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego” by clicking on the “Sign me up” button in the upper right hand column. Stay up-to-date on why Lake Oswego, Oregon is a great place to live...William Stafford apparently thought so.