Sunday, April 13, 2014

William Stafford: A Sunday Serenade

The Swallows by Felix Bracquemond 

The Well Rising

    The well rising without sound,
    the spring on a hillside,
    the plowshare through deep ground
    everywhere in the field-

    The sharp swallows in their swerve
    flaring and hesitating
    hunting for the final curve
    coming closer and closer-

    The swallow heart from wing beat to wing beat
    counseling decision, decision;
    thunderous examples. I place my feet
    with care in such a world.

                    William Stafford

I've been trying to write a swallow poem for the better part of my life. I ran across this the other day and thought, well, there it is. Not by me, but there it is.

Beautiful poem by the beautiful William Stafford.


It is with great sadness I note the passing of one of the greatest singer/songwriters of his generation: Jesse Winchester. He came into the public eye when he emigrated to Canada to avoid the draft and his first self-titled album was produced by the Band's Robbie Robertson (and the Band plays on two cuts). 

Give a listen to his little known masterpiece, 3rd Down, 110 to Goonce you start, it's hard to stop. Rest in piece, friend.


Photo by Tom Soper

evening tide--
on the grass blade's tip
a red dragonfly

translated by David G. Lanoue



_kala said...

This is a beautiful poet, Don.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

here is a 'tear-jerker' from Jesse Winchester...


Stafford & Winchester.... some terrific pair

mary said...

Thanks for the swallows poem and art - again, introducing a wonderful poet to those poor sods like me who never heard of him. Sad about Jesse, though. Lovely music man.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Kala, thanks so much ... glad you enjoyed it.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ed ... yes, Sham-A-Ling-Ding-Dong for us all ...

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Mary, you are welcome ...