William Stafford Poems

William Stafford was an American poet who is remembered as a pacifist. He was the 20th Consult in Poetry to the Library of Congress, appointed in 1970. Over the course of his career, he won the National Book Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Robert Frost Medal.


by William Stafford

‘November’ by William Stafford is a heart-wrenching and important poem that was inspired by the WWII bombing of Hiroshima. 

This is a good, but not well-known, example of William Stafford's poetry. The poet is well-known for his introspective verse and interest in exploring the human condition and is respected by poets around the world. Many of the best features of his poetry are seen in this poem. 'November' showcases his skill in using imagery and symbolism to convey profound ideas about forgiveness and personal growth.

From the sky in the form of snow

comes the great forgiveness.

Rain grown soft, the flakes descend

and rest; they nestle close, each one

Monuments for a Friendly Girl at a Tenth Grade Party

by William Stafford

William Stafford shows his unique style of writing, the use of imagery, and symbolism in his poem ‘Monuments for a Friendly Girl at a Tenth Grade Party.’ He uses flashbacks to his school days when he first met his childhood love, Ruth, and felt “alive.”

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