A GLASS FACE IN THE RAIN by William Stafford


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William Stafford is a master of the fleeting--""Now and then in some sound you discover/ a different country. Once in a barn/ open and empty my guitar jumped/ in my hand. Often I went back hunting/ what happened, but it was always gone."" Each of the book's five sections is prefaced by a romantic address to the reader (""Over these writings I bent my head. Now you are considering them""); and these gentle, diffident poems do have an air of plain-speaking. Stafford's words are simple; he is without irony or cleverness. ""Class Reunion,"" in its entirety, reads: ""Where others ran I run my hand/ across a photograph. It shows/ me standing where I am, applauding them./ They are far along the track; it's evening, lights coming on. I/didn't mean to win like this. I mean,/ they're gone. I mean,/ I didn't win."" By their very difficulty in speaking, these poems become about isolation. Wistful, modestly appealing work--if limited in range.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1982
Publisher: Harper & Row