Thursday, May 24, 2018

Poetry Friday - Being Ready

              Poetry Friday this final one in May is hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on The Teche! Thanks, Margaret, for sending us off into summer!


Photo- Linda Baie


        I spent many years saying goodbye in Continuation Ceremonies and with speeches to my students. I taught gifted middle-school students in an independent school and our continuation ceremony felt as important as high school graduations, though not quite as big. Usually, in my speeches to the students and the guests in the audience, I shared a poem, hoping they could take the wise words of a poet on with them. I'm thinking of all of you who are saying your goodbyes to your own grown-up children or students today, sharing the beautiful and wise words of William Stafford. 


You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?


~ William Stafford ~


     Thank you to all those who have served our country. I appreciate each one who has stood in harm's way for us.

41 comments:

  1. This is a fabulous graduation poem. William Stafford had such a way with words. "What can you give anyone greater than now"

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. I love it, too. William Stafford offers beautiful words to us for many special times.

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  2. Linda, this is such an inspirational poem and I never saw it before. "lift this new glimpse that you found; carry into evening all that you want from this day...keep it for life-"

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Carol, and now you can "keep" it for you! Thanks!

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  3. Gorgeous poem Linda, thanks for reminding me of the gift of poetry a bit early before my daughters High School graduation. I'd love to play with Stafford's second to last line,
    "What can anyone give you greater than now,"
    And for remembering all who have served our country too. Happy Memorial Day and weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle, this poem can stand for many things we value. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Happy Memorial Day weekend to you as well!

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  4. Oh, my. What a fantastic...perfect poem for transitions, especially a graduation. I am pinning this one for future use. "Carry into evening all that you want from this day," Beautiful and timely as you always are. Thank you, Linda

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    1. You're welcome, Linda, I'm glad you will keep it for your own life transitions!

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  5. Such a great poem, Linda, to remind us each moment is a gift. Have you ever read the book about him written by his son Kim Stafford? I dog-eared so many pages in that book! Thank you for sharing. xo

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    1. No, but now I will, Irene! Thank you! I do love what William Stafford has given to us, so know I will love the book.

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  6. Oh, that is beautiful and perfect for the occasion! I used to give my seniors Frost's "Choose Something Like a Star" on our last day together. Thanks for this one.

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    1. And thank you for one I will look for, Jane. I collected quite a few through the years to use and then to give to my students. I'm glad you like this one!

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  7. This should be read at every graduation! Thanks for sharing, Linda.

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  8. I'm printing this one up to give to my own graduate this year. Thanks so much for sharing Stafford's inspiring words, Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle. I do know you have a graduate this year, so thinking of you and others, sending best of wishes for this special time.

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  9. The entire poem is beyond lovely, but the first stanza, with its visual, scent, and sound descriptions that fill a school, is magical.

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    1. Thanks, Leslie, so nice that you enjoyed it!

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  10. This poem is not just for graduation...it is for everyday life. Thanks for sharing Stafford's words, Linda. =)

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    1. You're welcome, Bridget, it is a favorite of mine for all time!

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  11. What a wise speaker you are, Linda! Great pick. Also, I love your Poetry Friday bee/clover photo.

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha, I am proud of that photo! The bee posed for me!

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  12. So good to read this poem today, definitely one of my Stafford favorites.

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    1. Happy to hear you love it, too, Jama. Thanks!

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  13. A new Stafford poem for me. And one I'm copying for my writer's notebook. Love these words:
    "When you turn around, starting here, lift this
    new glimpse that you found;..."
    What a gift to be present for the moment, whatever it is.
    And thanks for mentioning those who serve in our armed forces. Hugs to you, a daughter who lost a dad in the service of all of us.

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    1. Happy to share a new poem to you, as you did to me today, Ramona. I'm glad you like it. It is one that helps us take heed of the moment, something to do every day, I think. Thanks for your sweet remembering about my father. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  14. The sentiment of this wonderful poem reminds me of Mary Oliver's poems and her celebration of each moment. It really is a perfect graduation poem, but more importantly a poem for daily living. "What can anyone give you greater than now..." Thanks so much for sharing this.

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    1. You're right, Molly, it is for everyone, every day. Thanks!

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  15. So wise and lovely. William Stafford always calms and comforts. Thank you for sharing this today, Linda!

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  16. What a great poem to share when moving on. Stafford has such wisdom here.

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  17. such a great poem be William Stafford. One of my favorites and perfect for this weekend.

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    1. I thought of you at this special time in your life, too, Jone. I'm glad you know it! Happy Retirement!

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  18. Oh, Linda, what a beautiful poem (and new to me!) and what a perfect time of year for it. Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome, Karen. I'm glad to share it with you and everyone.

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  19. This is a wonderful poem.

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  20. Yes, a perfect choice for this universal time of transitions! Even apt for me, pecking away in a cabin hours away from home, as we've come to gather up some of our son's things in his transition from internship to grad school. Thanks so much for sharing! XO

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    1. Oh, a moment in time you will remember, Robyn. Thinking of you as you have this new change happening again. Thanks!

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  21. The perfect poem for movings-on of all kinds, big and small!

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