Dec 09 2016

William Stafford – Any Morning

Published by at 9:55 am under Poetry

Any Morning
by William Stafford

Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People won’t even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.

— from The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems, by William Stafford

/ Image by incolor16 /

I think there is a great deal of wisdom in this poem. It is a reminder of how to conduct oneself while pretending to be part of the world. Yes, at work, at the store, saying hello to neighbors, do be practical, be responsible, be concerned. Or at least, appear to be.

But in those private moments, perhaps early in the morning before others have awakened, before the “important” activity of the day, before the clock has begun to tick, find those languid moments where sweetness abounds in the tiny movements and forgotten corners. On some fundamental level, this is our real job as human beings, to discover these moments, to bathe in them, to gather them like pollen — and then, to go about our lives making honey.

You can frown, if it is expected of you. But it is hard to do with the sweetness still on your tongue.

Recommended Books: William Stafford

The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems My Name is William Tell Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems Even in Quiet Places Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford
More Books >>

William Stafford, William Stafford poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry William Stafford

US (1914 – 1993) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by William Stafford

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “William Stafford – Any Morning”

  1. Carolon 10 Dec 2016 at 5:40 am

    Thank you, Ivan.

    I absolutely love this poem – will give it to my friends as a Christmas
    gift. I have Stafford’s Passwords, but have never heard Any Morning,
    but at this point in my life it speaks volumes! Blessings to you. Carol

  2. Cindyon 10 Dec 2016 at 6:16 am

    I love this poem and your response: going about our lives as bees, gathering honey, and sharing the sweetness. It is beautiful and refreshing!

  3. Katon 10 Dec 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I just love this poem! The peace and happiness that we have on any given day is such a gift!! All the meanness and surliness of the world can be reshaped by our sharing this peace one by one…person by person, smile by smile, reassuring word by reassuring word.

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