The Way It Is
New and Selected Poems
By William Stafford
(Graywolf Press, Paperback, 9781555972844, 268pp.)
Publication Date: March 1999
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"Stafford's quiet presence in the landscape of American poetry in my lifetime has been a kind of continuing reassurance whose values always seemed to me beyond question. Even those of us who have read him for years are almost certain to be surprised now, I think, and repeatedly surprised, at the range and freshness of his gift, its responsiveness to the small, the plain, the apparently usual. I think his work as a whole will go on surprising us, growing as we recognize it, bearing witness in plain language to the holiness of the heart's affections which he seemed never to doubt. [This book is] a treasure that he has left us."—W.S. Merwin
"[Stafford] left behind a body of work that represents some of the finest poetry written during the second half of [the twentieth] century . . . The poems, which reveal many of Stafford's themes—his affinity for Native Americans, love of nature, protest of war, and concern about the dangers of technology—are subtle and powerful in tone, but imagery is paramount . . . Highly recommended."—Library Journal
"This is a collection to savor and admire. The many contributors to this extraordinary endeavor have completed a task worthy of this much-loved poet."—Harvard Review