The Way It Is: The Poetry of Everyday Life

William Stafford is easily my favorite poet ever. He writes with a style that is conversational and approachable while still giving each word significance that I really like. And this book may be the best collection of Stafford poetry ever, collecting poems from multiple previous collections together into sections based around time period (athough the sections are not chronological).

The collection covers all of Stafford's main subject areas: pacifism (he had been a conscientious objector during World War II), Native Americans (Stafford was part Pawnee), Kansas (where Stafford was born), Oregon (where Stafford moved to later in life), his family, and the natural world. Although he only started writing later in life there are tons and tons of poems here, and each one is approachable even to a casual reader.

I find myself at a loss of what else to say, other than Stafford's poetry is very very good. Check out this collection for a good survey of his career, and see if you agree.

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