William Stafford

William Stafford

About William Stafford

William Edgar Stafford (January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993) was an American poet and pacifist. He was the father of poet and essayist Kim Stafford and was appointed the twentieth Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970. Stafford was 48 years old when his first major collection of poetry was published, Traveling Through the Dark, which won the 1963 National Book Award for Poetry, followed by more than sixty-five volumes of poetry and prose like An Oregon Message (1987), Writing the Australian Crawl: Views on the Writer’s Vocation (1977), Stories That Could Be True: New and Collected Poems (1977), and The Rescued Year (1966). These titles poem are among his best known works. Traveling Through the Dark describes encountering a recently killed doe on a mountain road. Before pushing the doe into a canyon, the narrator discovers that she was pregnant and the fawn inside is still alive.
Stafford died at his home in Lake Oswego, Oregon on August 28, 1993. The morning of his death he had written a poem containing the lines: You don't have to prove anything, my mother said. Just be ready for what God sends.

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