4.29.2009

Celebrating National Poetry Month: The Silver Star

Lake Chelan, spring 2008

The end of my favorite poetry month is almost upon me. I have other poems I wrote, but found it difficult to find the time this month to revise and revise again. The following poem was not one I had read of William Stafford's even though I have read many of his verses and am drawn to his words over and over again. I love the way he honors a mountain in this poem. I can also imagine many people in my life that could be the Silver Star.

Silver Star
To be a mountain you have to climb alone
and accept all that rain and snow. You have to look
far away when evening comes. If a forest
grows, you care; you stand there leaning against
the wind, waiting for someone with faith enough
to ask you to move. Great stones will tumble
against each other and gouge your sides. A storm
will live somewhere in your canyons hoarding its lightning.

If you are lucky, people will give you a dignified
name and bring crowds to admire how sturdy you are,
how long you can hold still for the camera. And some time,
they say, if you last long enough you will hear God;
a voice will roll down from the sky and all your patience
will be rewarded. The whole world will hear it: "Well done".
-William Stafford

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