Thursday, June 3, 2021

Poetry on Thursday

Last week I chose a poem (or it chose me) by William Stafford. Jane told me about his Methow River Poems, and I was fascinated. It's a series of poems located in scenic spots along the Methow River in Washington state. In 1992, the Methow Valley Ranger District asked William Stafford to write these poems to honor the landscapes of the North Cascades. They were looking for something more than the normal natural history signs that we often see, and hoped that poetry would serve as a way to connect visitors to these special places. In the year before his death in 1993, Stafford wrote the seven Methow River Poems. You can purchase a book containing these poems, but it's now a bucket list dream of mine to see and read them in situ.

A Valley Like This
William Stafford

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened—
there was nothing, and then…

But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world become nothing
again. What can a person do to help
bring back the world?

We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully
save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don’t watch out.

Please think about this as you go on. Breath on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.


Stafford, William. "A Valley Like This." Even in Quiet Places, Confluence Press, 2010. 

You can read more about the poet here


I wish you mindfulness, peace, good health, the ability to watch how your mornings and evenings open and close, and poetry as the week winds down.


  1. Just beautiful! (I love William Stafford . . . but I had never heard of the Methow River poems. SO awesome.) XO

  2. Oh beautiful, Bonny! I did not know William Stafford but now I want to read Methow River poems! Thank you!

  3. That's just beautiful. I love how he creates an image of breathing on the world to keep it going.

  4. Wonderful. "...the long party that your life is." What a beautiful phrase. I'm not familiar with this poet or these poems, but now I want more (and in situ would be the best, for sure!!).

  5. I had never heard of these poems, but what a brilliant idea to pair poetry with the outdoors! I don't know if he intended this poem to have an environmentalist message, but that's what I'm getting out of it -- we all need to be aware of the world around us and how easily it can vanish.

  6. This is a poem that speaks to me so much. It's a meditation on the world yet also about one's individual life. I love the line about "the long party that is your life", and it is the perfect way to frame a life. Thank you, Bonny!

  7. beautiful and I love the photo that goes with it. I love how you sign your posts with wishing mindfulness, I smile each time I see it :)

  8. oh my, this is very cool! and what a perfect bucket list item!! this line "like a bubble that can disappear
    if we don’t watch out" reminded me of all that we lost these last 15 months ...

  9. I know - this trip has been on my wish list for awhile. I'm glad you found it.


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